Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Banner advertising Mental Health Awareness Week from 10 to 16 May 2021

Connect with nature this Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 10 to 16 May 2021.

Organised by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week encourages people across the UK to focus on achieving good mental health. It provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our mental health, reach out to others, and explore different ways of improving our wellbeing.

This year, we’re encouraging you to¬†connect with nature¬†and consider what this means to you. You can connect with nature in many different ways – something as simple as tending to a house plant, taking the dog for a walk, or supporting an environmental cause can all have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. Nature is all around us, and is there for everyone to share and enjoy.

We will be running a series of live events over the course of the week to explore just some of the ways you can reap the benefits of nature for your mental health. These events are open to anyone who would like to join – and don’t worry if you’re unable to make the event times as recordings will be available to view afterwards.

Share your story

What does connecting with nature mean to you? How has nature helped your wellbeing over the past year? Our Patient Experience team is keen to hear your thoughts and experiences of nature and the positive impact it has had on your life.

Find out how you can get involved and share your story here.

Join our live events

Nature, mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic
Tuesday 11 May 2021
11:00am – 11:30am
Watch a recording here

Over the past year, coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and advice to ‘stay at home’ have given new meaning to walks, fresh air, and simply having time to connect with our surroundings. What have we learned, and how can we use the experience of these challenging months to reflect on our wellbeing and reconnect with nature as we look to the ‘new normal’?

Richard Black, Head of Therapy for You (IAPT) in South East Essex, leads a reflective session on the challenges we have faced over the past year and what this has taught us about ourselves and our connection to the natural world around us.

Mindfulness and nature
Wednesday 12 May 2021
11:00am – 11:30am
Watch a recording here

By allowing ourselves some quiet time in nature, we can experience a sense of connection and belonging. Practicing mindfulness in nature can give us a deep and rewarding experience of feeling truly alive.

Join Simon McVay, Head Occupational Therapist from EPUT’s Older People Dementia and Community Services for a relaxing mindfulness session with a focus on nature.

Conversations in mental health: safety, planning and supporting loved ones at risk
Friday 14 May 2021
12:00 noon – 12:30pm
Use this link to join the event

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week this year, we are encouraging you to focus on your own and others’ safety.

This session will give an overview of signs that someone is experiencing difficulties with their mental health, with a particular look at signs they may be at risk of suicide. We will explore self-help strategies and resources that people can use to keep themselves safe when they are struggling, and will also discuss how we can help others who are close to us when we are concerned about their mental health and safety.

We will hear from Dr Nuruz Zaman, Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist and Chair of the EPUT Suicide Prevention Group, joined by colleagues from EPUT.

Catch up on previous events and videos

EPUT recently hosted a series of virtual events to support members of the public and our staff to look after their wellbeing, particularly in the context of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

These practical events covered topics like how you can plan your day, getting a good night’s sleep, healthy eating, mindfulness, and tackling loneliness and depression.

The events, which last around 30 minutes, were led by experts from across the trust. You can watch recordings of all our sessions for free here.