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Mental Health Awareness Week- The importance of getting outside.

Nature and the environment is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week and the evidence is quite clear that nature is important for our mental health


Embracing the outdoors provides us with the ability to have some kind of balance psychologically as well as being good for our physical health.  It has been shown that access to nature was one of the main ways people managed their mental health during the lockdown and the restrictions that followed. Staying with the theme of nature, we should be thinking ahead too, we must protect our natural environment otherwise this is going to impact upon all of us in the future as well as future generations. 

Access to the outdoors has not been equal for everyone and it has been tough for many.  For those veterans who are struggling with their mental health, coping with the restrictions of lockdown and limiting access to support networks has been particularly challenging.  Unfortunately, there is still some stigma attached to poor mental health – the belief that you should show no ‘weakness’ or vulnerability, and when restrictions are added to the mix, this can have a detrimental effect psychologically, possibly resulting in behaviours that you may end up beating yourself up about and feeling really bad about.  As human beings, everyone is different, and we all have our own coping strategies.  Please be assured that help is out there, reach out and speak to someone you trust, don’t suffer in silence.  

Veteran’s services are becoming more and more accessible and help is available.  Here are some helpline contact details:

Samaritans: 116 123

Mental Health Matters: 0300 323 0139

Combat Stress Helpline: 0800 138 1619

Crisis Messenger text service 24/7 crisis support: Text Contact to 85258

Big White Wall:  www.togetherall.com