#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek – Back To Nature 14/05/2021

Here at KC, we’re huge advocates for reducing the stigma surrounding mental health and offering support, resources and guidance to all of our students and staff. It’s not something anyone should ever feel ashamed of. 

As we emerge from restrictions and start interacting with colleagues, friends and family more than we have done over the last few months, looking out for someone’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. Around one in five adults experienced some form of depression in the first few months of this year, more than twice as many as before the coronavirus pandemic struck. And the figures for 15-19 year-olds are even higher.

1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England ."

Mental Health Awareness Week: Nature

This year, mental health awareness week is all about nature and how being how being outdoors, appreciating the little things, being inspired by your surroundings, can help with your mental health. 

"1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week in England.”

Get Outside!

If you’re ever spent a few hours in the sun outside; whether it be at a park, in a garden or just in town; you’ll already know what we’re talking about here. 

There’s a lot of good research to support the role nature can play in protecting and supporting our mental health. 

For many of us though, ‘being in nature’ may not be as easy as it sounds.  

The good news is, you don’t have to climb a mountain to feel the benefit – there are lots of simple ways to bring nature into your everyday.  

‘There is something to be wondered at in all of Nature’ - Aristotle

We're very lucky here at KC...

We’ve got all sorts of countryside and outdoor spaces a short walk away! 

We’ve got the canal literally just outside, and if you walk for about five minutes you wouldn’t know that you’re in Kidderminster! We’ve also got the Wyre Forest a short drive away, so you can get into the trend of forest-bathing! And finally, we’ve got various parks within walking distance of the college; so if it’s a nice day, and you have a bit of time, you’re only really five minutes away from an peaceful outdoor space!

Taking some quiet time to reflect in natural surroundings using all your senses can be a real boost to your mental health. Whether you’re relaxing in the garden or on your way to work, try listening out for birdsong, look for bees and butterflies, or notice the movement of the clouds. All of these good things in nature can help you to find a sense of calm and joy.

FIKA

We’re very lucky here at KC to partner with the mental fitness app FIKA. It’s free for all KC students and staff and provides tutorials, advice and a safe space to help keep your mental health on track. Follow the link below to see how to download the app and why it’s such a worthwhile investment in these difficult times.

“Let's end the stigma surrounding mental health together ."

Grow With KC

Why not try bringing nature into your home? Having plants in the house is a great way to have something natural to see, touch and smell – pots of herbs from the supermarket are a good start.

If you have a garden, allotment or balcony, think about how you can make the most of it. Grow flowers, plants or vegetables, get a bird feeder and take in the sights and sounds around you.

KC are currently sending out sunflower seeds to all their new students; spreading a little sunshine!

It's okay to talk...

If you’re struggling with your mental health, you can reach out to our safeguarding team, either in person (ask at reception) or dropping them at an email at staysafe@kidderminster.ac.uk

 

You can also head over to our ‘Mental Health Matters’ blog post for a list of amazing resources.