Publish date: 12 May 2021

Hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, mental health awareness week is taking place this week from 10-16 May 2021. The theme is 'nature'.

Everyone is being encouraged to start a conversation about mental health and the things in our daily lives that can affect it. This year they want as many people as possible to think about connecting with nature and how nature can improve our mental health.

This week is also a chance to talk about any aspect of mental health that people want to – regardless of the theme.

Our own staff health and wellbeing support offer can be found on StaffZone including the caring for you programme.

Nature and our mental health

Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world.

Nature has a unique ability to not only bring consolation in times of stress, but also increase our creativity, empathy and a sense of wonder. It turns out that it is not just being in nature but how we open ourselves up and interact with nature that counts. Even small contacts with nature can reduce feelings of social isolation and be effective in protecting our mental health, and preventing distress.

Connect with nature

  • Experience nature: take time to recognise and grow your connection with nature during the week. Take a moment to notice and celebrate nature in your daily life. You might be surprised by what you notice!
  • Share nature: Take a photo, video or sound recording and share the connections you’ve made during the week, to inspire others. Join the discussion on how you’re connecting with nature by using the hashtags #ConnectWithNature #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek
  • Talk about nature: discuss in your family, workplace and community how you can help encourage people to find new ways to connect with nature in your local environment.

Why was Nature chosen as the theme for the Week?

Research has shown that being in nature has been one of the most popular ways the public have tried to sustain good mental health during these challenging times. It’s hoped that by increasing awareness of the importance of nature to good mental health, more people will see the benefits.

State of Mind’s 40/120 challenge

Our Chief Executive Simon Barber along with other colleagues from across the Trust, kick started the week by commencing their State of Mind Sport’s 40/120 challenges. The 40/120 challenge aims to help raise awareness of suicide and encourage those who are struggling to ask for help.

Find out how you can get involved by visiting StaffZone. You can also view all activity during the week by following our Trust Twitter account

Celebrating the end of Ramadan

For the past few weeks Muslims have been fasting as they observe Ramadan – but the holy month has now almost finished. The end of Ramadan is celebrated with the festival of Eid al-Fitr.

Ramadan will come to an end today (Wednesday 12 May), and Eid al-Fitr will follow on Thursday 13 May, starting with prayers in the morning.