Connecting with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week

If we are to live the fullest lives possible, and help our colleagues, clients and families thrive we need to ensure that we look after our mental wellbeing. At Foot Anstey we want to create a supportive environment where everyone can access the help they need and feel comfortable to speak out about mental health.

It's Mental Health Awareness Week and we will be exploring the theme #ConnectWithNature. 

Why nature?

The Mental Health Foundation's research on the pandemic's impact on our mental health showed that going out for a walk was one of our top coping strategies - 45% of people reported that access to green spaces had been essential for their mental health. Nature is essential to good mental health - getting outdoors and connecting with nature and noticing the impact that this connection can have for our mental health is astonishing. Find out more here.

This week we are encouraging our people to get involved in #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek by getting outdoors and enjoying our natural environment. Find out more about what we will be getting up to below:

  • Getting out in nature. We are looking forward to seeing what our people get up to throughout the week whether it's taking part in one of the below activities or just getting out and about and sharing a nature selfie as they #ConnectWithNature.
  • Volunteering in nature. Each of people can take 2 CSR Days in addition to their annual leave to volunteer for charities. There are some great initiatives being organised by organisations such as Surfers against sewage's Million Mile Beach Clean and The Woodland Trust's Ancient Tree Inventory project and Nature Calendar.
  • Making the most of our Lifestyle Hour. Each week our people can take a lifestyle hour – an hour off a week during a working day. We want to see as many people taking their lifestyle hour as possible in Mental Health Awareness Week to get out in nature!
  • Taking part in the #Virtual8Challenge. Even short bursts of exercise have the potential to enhance your energy, mood and mental alertness. Throughout May we are running a fundraising challenge and lots of our people are undertaking physical challenges in the great outdoors. Find out more here.
  • Discussing what have we learned from the pandemic. Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO of LawCare, will be joining Guy Buckland and Anna Parker to discuss mental health and wellbeing in the wake of the pandemic. What have we learned and how do we carry this forward to the future?
  • Accessing new wellbeing resources. We have lots of resources available on mental health and wellbeing and this week we have added some nature themed meditations for our people to enjoy! Becoming mindful in nature allows the natural world to come alive, allowing us to tune into the world around us.
  • Meeting our Mental Health First Aiders. We have over 30 Mental Health First Aiders based across our offices who support our people with their mental wellbeing. This week we have interviewed some of our MHFAs – read their stories below.