This Sunday, 10th October, marks World Mental Health Day.
The overall objective of this Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in supporting this. It provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.
The rise in mental health problems has risen to prominence in recent years and been labelled as a modern-day pandemic and one of the greatest public health challenges of our times. In the UK alone, one in four people experience problems with mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic has had a recognized major impact on many people’s mental health and wellbeing.
Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems, including anxiety and depression, and played an important role in supporting many people’s mental health during the pandemic. A recent YouGov poll found that 73 per cent of UK adults surveyed said that, connecting with nature has been important in terms of managing their mental health during the pandemic.
Research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression. This might be due to combining regular physical activity and social contact with being outside in nature.
The delivery of our Eco-Therapy Wellness Parks at The Barony in East Ayrshire and St Ninians and Loch Fitty in Fife recognizes this. Through the sensitive redevelopment of these as health and wellness destinations we aim to provide a fully-immersive experience with the natural environment for the visitor, noting the immense beneficial impacts of nature on both their mental and physical health.
Pre COVID 19, governments had already realised that suffering mental health is an ever developing problem. With the onset of the current pandemic and its unprecedented implications relating to the global economy, the huge emerging scale of deteriorating mental health globally amongst every age group is alarming at best. Working in collaboration with the NHS and other key stakeholders, hopefully facilities such as those we are seeking to create can go some way to addressing this.
Further information on World Mental Health Day: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/world-mental-health-day