Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16 May 2021

Mental Health Awareness Week is taking place from 10 to 16 May 2021. This year’s theme is ‘nature‘– something very fitting, after a year where we have seen more of the four walls in our homes than the four seasons!

The Patient Experience Team at EPUT would like to share your stories on our Webpage. Please do send us a few lines on how nature has helped your mental well-being over the last year. It could be that you found strength from the flowers and trees in your garden or park or that you took walks every day to take in the nature around you? How did this help you?

We would like to know how connecting with nature has helped your mental well-being. Feel free to send us your story, using the contact details on the right of this page. If you would like us to call you to take down your story, please feel free to email us and one of the team will give you a call! We would love to hear from you! Read our stories below…


Nature through my window

As I looked out of my self-isolation window during this pandemic year,
The seasons have changed alongside my hope and fear,
One thing has stayed constant, that’s nature itself.

Winter freezes and coldness the sight of my breath,
Outside with the nature, a little robin red breast.

I look again and Spring is awakening, the trees start to stretch,
The sun shines more brightly, my mood is too,
Hope is returning, to me and to you.

Summer is here, warm weather and all,
The pandemic is still here, but nature is too,
The scent of the flowers in the hot scorching sun,
The smell is so fragrant, Summer days will soon be done.

September time now the window shows all,
In the UK it’s Autumn, elsewhere it’s called Fall,
The fear inside me has not gone away,
But the nature outside, allows no crisis to stay.

A year to my window, a year full of some worry,
But outside keeps going, an ecosystem in a hurry,
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall.

I stand at my window, the seasons I’ve seen,
I have lived through them all.

By Mark Dale

 

Being in a hospital with limited outside areas, I have spent the vast majority of my time in hospital away from greenery and fresh air. Due to this, when the opportunity arose, I jumped at the chance to volunteer at a place called Cody Dock in East London.

Cody Dock has extensive community gardens, which provide a natural habitat for hundreds of different species.

I enjoyed spending every Wednesday doing various tasks such as watering and weeding. My knowledge of gardening was non-existent at the start but I slowly built up confidence both in my gardening ability and also more generally in improving other aspects of my life such as my confidence in speaking to other people.

It has really benefitted me.

By Elizabeth Hendle

 

I have found being in the natural environment to be so beneficial for my physical and particularly, my mental well-being,
I have a little dog, which gave me daily reason to go for sometimes very long walks,
During every season during lockdown, I follow a similar route, and notice the changes each week.

Sunshine warm on my skin would shimmer on ponds and dapple through trees. Then leaves change colour and we walk through brown crunchy fallen leaves,
It became really cold. Trees were bare. But the twisted shapes and structure against grey sky was stark but still beautiful,
We made footprints in the snow and the white covering was so pretty.

I one day noticed a green leaf; a tiny bud; a little flower and a splash of colour brightened everywhere,
Now in full Spring, I love every change to the scenery – colours, smells and sounds of birdsong and hum of bees,
It’s surprising if you walk and really look, there is so much to see.

I was in a psychiatric hospital for a while and surrounded by walls and doors. Always inside,
To be outside feels free and really raises my mood,
And it costs nothing!

By Carole Galbally

 

Nature has really helped me as I grew my own vegetables during lockdown and I have never been green-fingered in my life!
It was so enjoyable and had a real calming effect.
I did it with my partner, so we both worked together, so helped our well-being and mind, relaxing no end.

By Liz Rotherham

 

Nature was created

Nature is an amazing place to explore. Walking around High Woods Country Park (recently), brought my life a level of oneness that can only be described as a paradigm shift. The buttercups complimented my mood (it changes all the time); the many dog walkers made me realise that there is more to life than human behaviour (after all, there are trillions of species co existing with human beings on our Green Planet).  Wind, rain and sleet was all around me; my mind stayed in the moment, (a relief to my Soul).

Over the years, nature has never been my enemy!

Mother Nature loves us, Love Mother Nature.

By Jason McLean


This was a ‘happy day’ – my birthday!