It’s Mental Health Awareness Week and for 2021, the Mental Health Foundation is focussing on the importance of nature to our wellbeing.
Throughout the pandemic, it has been reported that 45% of people in the UK found that visiting green spaces and being in nature has helped them cope. Research shows that it is more than just ‘fresh air and exercise’ that can benefit mental health, also the relationship we have with nature and the quality of that connection has a meaningful impact.
Mark Rowland, CEO of Mental Health Foundation, says:
Nature is so central to our psychological and emotional health, that it’s almost impossible to realise good mental health for all without a greater connection to the natural world. Nature is our great untapped resource for a mentally healthy future.
Our connection to the underwater world
As divers and snorkellers, we have a unique connection to nature and the ecosystem beneath the waves. A huge part of the drive to dive is the desire to explore and immerse yourself in a different environment; be it a reef, a wreck or a seagrass meadow. Whether you’re diving to play with seals, appreciating vibrant firework anemones or admiring basking sharks, you’re aiming to connect with nature in a way that is beyond what you can achieve on land.
Even if you find yourself in a dark, silty quarry — as all UK divers have on one occasion or another — the connection to the watery world and its critters is one intrinsically linked with nature.
Share how you #ConnectWithNature this week
While the Mental Health Foundation is asking people how they connect with nature this week, we want to extend the challenge to you, our members and community of divers and snorkellers, to share how you connect with the underwater world.
Share your pics, your fave diving and snorkelling sites, and/or why you find the underwater world so beneficial to your wellbeing with the hashtags #ConnectWithNature, #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and #BSACdivers. Remember to tag us, @bsacdivers!
Diving for your mental health and happiness webinar
Tonight, BSAC National Instructor, John Kermode, will review the benefits of diving and other activities for our mental wellbeing. The Covid-19 pandemic has kept many divers away from our chosen sport meaning that our mental health may be an important consideration for many of us. John will present an interesting take on promoting happiness and will provide pointers for dealing with concerns we have for ourselves, friends and families, as well as for our diving buddies.
Sadly, the event is no longer available for booking but should be online in the catch-up section later this week.
- Let’s look after ourselves
- Acts of kindness to fellow divers
- Managing mental health
- Discounted mental health awareness training for BSAC members
Feature image: Simon Rogerson