It's Mental Health Awareness Week! It's Mental Health Awareness Week! This year's Mental Health Awareness Week, organised by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), takes place from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th May and runs with the theme 'Surviving or Thriving?' It will explore what the difference is between the two, and what we can do to look after ourselves so that we can all thrive with good mental health. During the week, MHF will produce a report to highlight how many of us are stuck on ‘survive’ mode. They will also provide advice and insight into how we can build good mental health in the context of our work, our digital world, our parenting approach and in our communities, and will be calling on the Government to do more to promote better mental health. You can find out more about their work and their activities during the week via their website. Thriving through nature Thriving with good mental health is something the Wellbeing Programme has always strived for since its inception in 2008. The programme is based on research which shows that taking part in outdoor nature activities can help people with mental health issues and contribute to reducing levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Through a series of weekly activities, participants are given the opportunity to connect with nature by getting involved with conservation tasks, nature-based crafts and wildlife walks. Activities are always varied and in recent weeks, the groups have been busy with all sorts of projects, from preparing wildflower beds on the field at Roundway Orchard in Devizes, to building a Saxon-style wooden hut at the Cranbourne Ancient Technology Centre, as well as preparing vegetable plots at Lower Moor Farm Nature Reserve, near Cricklade. The groups have also been on a number of nature walks to spot the first signs of spring, and have enjoyed a number of craft sessions including whittling spoons and making charcoal, as well as foraging for nettles to make nettle soup. Journeys of wellbeing Regular feedback from participants suggests that their general mental wellbeing improves with their involvement on the programme. During the week we will publish stories from participants who are happy to share how the programme is helping them with their mental health and how it is giving them a stepping stone onto the next stage in their journey of recovery. Get in touch If you feel you would benefit from joining the programme, or know someone who might benefit, please get in touch with us. We run groups in Wiltshire and Swindon. Call the office on 01380 736 098 or email us for more information.