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11th May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week

10th-16th May is Mental Health Awareness Week – the theme for 2021 is connecting with nature.

The week was created by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) who describe it as “an opportunity for the whole of the UK to focus on achieving good mental health.”

This past year has taken a toll on our mental wellbeing, and during lockdowns many of us have been mindful of nature, as part of caring for ourselves. MHF suggest taking a moment to connect with nature in simple ways, such as:

  • listen to the birdsong,
  • smell the freshly cut grass,
  • take care of a house plant,
  • notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby.

In Birmingham there are online (and even some in-person) activities that you can join in, as part of the week:

  • Birmingham Mind are sharing daily videos exploring simple ways to look after our mental wellbeing on their YouTube, Facebook & Twitter pages.
  • Colmore BID in the city centre have a programme of events for the week, including mindfulness and meditation activities.
  • Beyond this week, our friends at Footsteps are organising a walk at Edgbaston Reservoir on Sun 23rd May to connect with nature, and learn about Buddhist perspectives on the environment.

Of course, our environment remains under threat from climate change, and not everyone has equal access to nature. We hope that these activities to connect with the natural world will inspire us to come together to defend our environment in a way that is sustaining, life-giving and grounded in social justice.

You can check out some current actions on the climate emergency (personal, local, national and international) and get involved with others in a supportive group, such as Footsteps, Birmingham Friends of the Earth or Climate Action West Midlands.

Photo: nature in the midst of an industrial area next to Birmingham’s canals

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