This week (10th May – 16th) is Mental Health Awareness Week. We here at the Butterfly Patch find it incredibly important to highlight the importance of mental health so are participating in this all week!
You can expect to find a wide range of posts ranging from self-care tips to more specific issues such as post-natal depression.
But first we need to look at what is mental health and why is it important.
In a nutshell, it’s our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It’s to do with how we think, feel and cope. It can determine how we make choices and handle stress and it’s really important all throughout the stages of our lives (not just when you’re a teen).
Did you know, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England.
Mental health issues can also affect your physical health if not treated – raising the risks for problems such as stroke, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
So now we know a little bit more about mental health and that it’s important due to the influences it can have on your physical health and daily life. But what exactly is Mental Health Awareness Week?
Mental Health Awareness Week was created by The Mental Health Foundation (MHF, founded in 1949). When started, it of course was used to raise awareness of mental health issues and to de-stigmatise these in the eye of the public.
Today it carries on its legacy whilst adding themes to offer new suggestions and support.
This year’s theme is Nature.
MHF’s studies found that millions of us turned to nature during the pandemic: “going for walks outside was one of our top coping strategies and 45% of us reported being in green spaces had been vital for our mental health” (more information on this below).
Connecting with nature, now more than ever before, is so important to our mental health. So, the MHF have come up with two aims for this year’s awareness week:
1. Inspire more people to connect with nature
2. To convince decision makers at all levels that access to nature is a mental health issue.
That all sounds good but more like something companies and charities can do on their social media, right? So, what can we actually do in our daily lives?
The MHF are asking you to get involved! They’re asking for you to join the conversation and participate in Nature week. You can do this by:
1. Experiencing nature
2. Sharing nature
3. Talking about nature.
You can share your own stories, ideas, photos, anything (!) using #ConnectWithNature.
Don’t forget to get your little one involved – crafting with natural objects and connecting with nature is key in children’s development.