It is Mental Health Awareness Week this week (10-16 May) and the positive mental health benefits of nature is the theme for this year's campaign.
When it comes to mental health benefits, nature has a very wide definition. It can mean green spaces such as parks, woodland or forests as well as blue spaces like rivers, wetlands, beaches or canals. It also includes trees on an urban street, private gardens, verges and even indoor plants or window boxes. Surprisingly, even watching nature documentaries has been shown to be good for our mental health. At Skill Mill we have been observing and documenting the positive effect that working outdoors is having on the mental health of the young people we employ. They report having reduced stress, less anxiety, improved mood…..feeling happy. This is all great news as #teamSkillMill spend the majority of their time working outdoors!
The pandemic has helped us all to reassess our relationship with nature, spending more time in the local parks, which has played a critical role in supporting our mental health. The Skill Mill has increased in scale during the pandemic, and we are now offering more opportunities to our young people to gain paid employment, develop skills and feel better both mentally and physically.