Mental Health Awareness Week: III

Let's Go Green for Happiness

All this week we’re exploring ways to help promote Mental Health Awareness Week, and today our focus is on the amazing

benefits of green spaces. From swathes of grass and wild flower meadows to mature woodland and hedgerows bursting with life, green spaces provide a habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals.

But did you know these green spaces are also vital for our own emotional wellbeing?

In fact, according to research carried out by the University of Exeter Medical School, based on interviews with 20,000 people, just two hours spent in the natural environment each week significantly boosts health and wellbeing.

Of course, the physical and mental health benefits of time spent in parks and woodland are well known, but this study is the first into how long is needed to produce positive effects.

If shows that simply sitting and enjoying the peace for only two hours can join five a day of fruit and veg and 150 minutes of exercise a week as official health advice.

It’s no surprise then that in a new survey more than half (53%) say they appreciate local green spaces more since social distancing measures were brought in by COVID-19.

Even more (57%) felt they were now more aware of the importance of such green spaces to mental health and wellbeing.

The survey of more than 2000 people for countryside charity CPRE and the National Federation of Women’s Institutes (WI), carried out by Opinium, also highlighted a major boost to community spirit.

Here at Greenbelt, we’ve long championed Britain’s green spaces and our own mission is to ensure the green and open spaces in developments are maintained as safe and sustainable havens for residents and communities.

If you’d like to find out more about becoming involved with the Mental Health Foundation’s event this year, simply click here.

There is also a fun animation on why the concept kindness is at the heart of this year’s message.