With the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (15th to 21st May) focussing on anxiety, the PATT Foundation shares some tips about connecting with nature to help manage anxiety.

According to Mental Health UK, over 8 million people in the UK are experiencing an anxiety disorder at any one time. It is one of the most common mental health issues and is also a natural human response when we feel under threat or stressed.

With climate anxiety and the cost of living crisis it’s understandable that people are feeling that their mental health is being negatively impacted. Research has shown that people felt that being outdoors and among nature had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing, and outdoor activities can be a great way to improve mental health as well as physical health.

Volunteer to join our treeplanting projects around the country

Green social prescribing and ecotherapy are types of formal treatments being offered to those who have anxiety and anxiety disorders. Being in and surrounded by nature to boost growth and healing has been proven to help relieve stress and can even help with our stress levels and blood pressure.

PATT Foundation understands the positive benefits of nature and green spaces but not everyone can get out into the woods or get their hands dirty in compost. Along with tree planting with community forests to support and create more woodlands, PATT works with local communities and groups to create mindful spaces filled with flowers and greenery to benefit peoples’ mental and emotional wellbeing. PATT is also working with volunteers to create a community hub at their Preston site to allow people to get back to nature with gardening while support local foodbanks by growing fruit and vegetables.

If you are interested in finding out more information or would like to try out for a day at the PATT Nursery, get in touch with the team at info@pattfoundation.org or register your interest on our website.

PATT Foundation has a number of projects that aim to support mental health. Its founder, Andrew Steel formed Green Task Force as a way to provide employment opportunities for veterans and servicemen and women where they were able to work in the outdoor sector to benefit from nature-based therapy. When talking about Green Task Force, Andrew said: “So many veterans and ‘blue light’ servicemen and women suffer from PTSD and the focus has all too often been on the problem and not finding a solution. If we reframe the situation and talk about Post Traumatic Growth, we can engage individuals and tackle the problem head-on – putting veterans back on a pathway to recovery. The solution is relatively simple and the timing could not be more perfect to help benefit the environment, wildlife and our worthy veterans.”

For more information about Green Task Force or veteran support you can contact our team on info@pattfoundation.org.