EPIC Risk Management is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week

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This week marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.

The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May.

This year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways. In Lancashire, EPIC Risk Management will be continuing to build on their staff wellbeing programme that has been in place throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, where staff have been encouraged to leave their houses whilst working at home to enjoy the great outdoors.

“Getting outdoors and enjoying nature is something that we here at EPIC Risk Management have encouraged our staff to do daily during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to great success, said EPIC’s Director of Operations, Pete Wallis. “We have seen members of our team on our internal Wellbeing channel that we use via Slack, our internal communication platform, engage in a rich blend of activities outdoors, from training for marathons to tyre flipping and the occasional climbing of trees with the kids and walks with the dogs. We embraced tech to encourage our team members to get outside, leave the desk, forget about that email that comes in for an hour and enjoy what can be the transformative impact of the great outdoors. As we gradually return to the office, we are steadfast in our commitment to continue this theme of nature for our staff. As an organisation, we know the devastation that is caused by Mental Illness and Addiction, and we know that it can be avoided with the right level of awareness and understanding of the benefits of a healthy mental health approach.

Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role in our mental health. Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health.

“During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has supported their mental health.

“We also want to highlight the huge disparities between who is and who isn’t able to access nature. We want the week to explore how everyone across the UK can connect with nature and experience the mental health benefits wherever they live.”

Some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week:

- During Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try to make a habit each day of connecting to nature in your local area? Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections.

- Share images/videos/or just sound recordings of nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek.