The Park is Good for our Health
by David Feather
Did you know that this week is Mental Health Awareness Week? I didn’t until recently. You might well ask how it connects with the Park?
It is clear from the state that the footpaths got into, that a lot more people used the Park during lockdown to relax and enjoy an environment “a million miles away” from their house or flat. Research is showing that we desperately need more such green spaces for our mental and physical health. I think we all instinctively know this.
A stroll though this un-manicured landscape, with the possibility of seeing a variety of wildlife helps us keep on an even keel. Some doctors in Scotland are actually trialling a prescription of walking as an alternative to pills, to counter depression. I look forward to hearing how they got on.
The Mental Health Foundation, in promoting “Mental Awareness Week” states on its website:“
Through our own research at the Mental Health Foundation, we know that spending time outdoors has been one of the key factors enabling people to cope with the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, nearly half (45%) of people in the UK told us that visiting green spaces, such as parks, helped them to cope. Our findings are echoed by other research which has found that people visiting and noticing nature in particular was important in supporting their wellbeing. This is a really important point, as it helps us to understand that a connection with nature helps unlock the mental health benefits – and it also gives us essential clues on how to maximise these benefits for our wellbeing.”
So, be comforted, as we gradually move into the post-Covid era, that in reading this webpage and walking in the Park, you are doing one of the best things you could do for your health.