Did you know that this week (14th – 20th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week? According to statistics from the Mental Health Foundation, nearly half of adults in the UK (43.4%) think that they have had a diagnosable mental health condition at some point in their life. In 2014, 19.7% of people aged 16 and over showed symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Mental health problems are more common than we think, and many of us will have to face some sort of mental health problem at some stage in our lives. Despite this, The World Health Organisation estimates that between 35%-50% of people with mental health problems in developed countries do not receive the necessary support and advice that they need.
So what can we do to help?
Mind is a mental health charity committed ‘to making sure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem can access the support they need and is treated with the respect they deserve.’ The charity has been established for 70 years and provides support for over 513,000 people across England and Wales. The services they provide include helplines, drop in centres, supported housing and counselling.
We welcomed 18 young adults from Mid-Cheshire Mind, based in Winsford, to our Centre at the start of May for a weekend of fun and adventure! The group enjoyed a range of onsite and offsite activities, including high ropes and rock climbing, with full catering and accommodation in our modern, en-suite centre bedrooms.
One member of the group said: “We all tackled our demons and left our comfort zones to tackles new challenges, and we all did it fantastically from partaking in archery, raft building and even abseiling down mountains. We all tried everything we wanted to and encouraged each other along the way.”
It has been proven that spending time in the outdoors can work wonders for your mental health and well-being, by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety and increasing levels of ‘good feeling’ chemicals in your body.
We asked the Mid-Cheshire Mind group how they thought spending time in the great outdoors can help people with mental health conditions. Here’s what they said…
“It brightens moods, lifts spirits and encourages positivity.”
“Looking at nature helps remind me of how beautiful things can be.”
“Fresh air helped me to sleep better and I felt more energised.”
Trying new activities and overcoming fears in the outdoors can provide groups with an immense sense of achievement, accomplishment and positivity. This was most evident when one member of the Mind group said:
“At first I was scared and did not want to try anything, I was adamant I was just going along to relax. But with encouragement from staff and all my friends at Mind I was encouraged and supported to try archery and raft building, and found myself surprisingly enjoying it, even with a soggy bottom (ha ha). So thanks to staff and friends at Mount Cook and Mid-Cheshire Mind for helping me to experience something different and to help build my confidence to try new things.”
Finally, we asked the Mind group – What was your favourite memory from your Mount Cook residential? Here are some of their responses…
“Sitting round the campfire and not feeling lonely.”
“Seeing the members of the group blossom and grow in confidence.”
“Going up to the top of Black Rocks and seeing the view.”
“Sitting around the campfire singing and having a laugh together.”
For more information on the fantastic work Mind charity do for people across the UK, visit their website: www.mind.org.uk
If you are interested in booking a Mount Cook residential experience for a charity, disability group or a youth group, please contact us on: 01629 823 702.
Further information on how we can work with these groups can be found on our Outdoors For All page.