Nature is the theme of Mental health Awareness Week 2021. The aim of the week is to inspire people to connect with nature and for people to understand the benefits that it can have on mental health.
The pandemic has proven to be a tough experience for many people . The impact of it on people’s well-being has been enormous. Many mental health workers have found their input challenging over the past months.
Carly Mann, is a recovery worker at Lincoln crisis house, said: “The pandemic has been detrimental for people’s mental health. The support networks people have relied on have been physically taken away.”
Jeremiah Fearon, is also a recovery worker at Lincoln crisis house, and agrees. He said: “Distractions and coping mechanisms people used to help themselves, were suddenly unavailable. People were forced to spend time indoors, with their families which for many is not a good thing.”
Erin Lumsdale, a recovery worker at Lincoln crisis house, notices anxiety levels increased for people during the pandemic. She said: “There has been a huge increase in anxiety mainly due to the uncertainty of the whole situation.”
They all agreed that working in mental health is a challenging job and working during the Covid-19 pandemic was extra difficult.
Erin said: “It has been incredibly busy, especially throughout 2021, with massive increase of people needing support with anxiety and low mood.”
Hannah Watson, is a recovery worker at Lincoln crisis house, she found helping others and having to put measures in place challenging at work. She said: “Trying to promote social distancing for people experiencing mental health problems was tough.”
Leah Quinn, a recovery worker at Lincoln crisis house, agrees: “A big part of my job is building rapport with people, this is really hard to do when you are wearing a mask. People can’t see your facial expressions, which makes them feel uncomfortable to talk about personal topics.”
During the pandemic people started to appreciate and notice nature more. They found comfort in spending time in green spaces. Which is a reason for Mental Health Awareness Week 2021’s theme.
Erin says that there are many benefits of nature on mental health: “Being in nature encourages mindfulness and being grounded which is so important for managing and regulating our emotions.”
Leah agrees: “Going for a walk is not going to cure your depression, but it has so many positive effects. Spending time in nature should be used as a coping mechanism. It is a mindful activity, it helps to get out of your thoughts and be in the present moment.”
During this week, we are asked to appreciate nature. To take a moment outdoors, to ask a friend to go for a walk. To share our videos or pictures of green spaces surrounding us.
Lincoln Arboretum is a beautiful park of grade II importance. Watch a video to have a minute of mindfulness: