A Preston man has spoken about the mental health benefits of connecting with nature.Advertisement
Connor Hudson is an Assistant Project Officer at Myplace, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust’s (LSCft) award-winning mental health service.
The service is an eco-therapy partnership between LSCft and Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which aims to improve mental health in young people and adults by giving them the opportunity to connect with nature, learn new skills and build up resilience.
Connor, who was previously a service user of Myplace, said: “Myplace has helped me in more ways than I can actually count, but one of those has been to help me connect with nature.
“Before I started with the project, I would have liked to enjoy the outdoors and nature more. Myplace helped introduce that to me at my own pace, so it was super easy for me to enjoy it, and learn a couple of things along the way.”
The initiative was recently named the best Mental Health Innovation of the Year at the Health Service Journal Awards 2021.
Connor continued: “For me, being outdoors really helped with letting go of all the stresses and negative thoughts that go on inside my head.
“The way I like to see it, I go into the outdoors and let the negative thoughts and stress just blow away in the wind.
“And I wouldn’t have had that option of having nature as an escape if it wasn’t for the Myplace project.”
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Kevin O’Hara, Partnership Development Manager at LSCft, said: “Working in partnership to provide award-winning care is one of our key strengths here at LSCft.
“Mental health is vitally important for us all, and the work Myplace do is invaluable for young people and adults throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria.
“Being outside, experiencing fresh air and not relying on technology is a brilliant way to help manage wellbeing.”
Where to get help when you need it
Anyone in a mental health crisis, or needing advice for a loved one, can call the Trust’s Mental Health Crisis line (MHCL) on 0800 953 0110, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Visit the LSCft crisis page for more information.
In addition Mindsmatter, a community and wellbeing service – run by the Trust – works to support people with stress, anxiety and depression. People are being urged to use its self-referral service and gain access to tools and mental health professionals who can offer help.
Visit the LSCft Mindsmatter page for more information, or to self-refer visit the LSCft Mindsmatter self referral page.
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Do you find nature beneficial for your mental wellbeing? Let us know in the comments.