10 - 16 May 2021
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. I can’t even begin to imagine the depths of despair that some people struggle with on a daily basis.
For years, though, I witnessed the enduring effects of depression, anxiety, and PTSD on employees in toxic workplaces. In my former life I represented workers whose employers caused severe mental illness by bullying, discrimination, overwork, debilitating injury, or devastating terminal illness.
All of my clients reported some reduction in psychological symptoms whilst gardening or being in nature. One, I remember, reported being able to forget how he’d been relentlessly bullied and overworked when he dug in his garden. Another asked for his bed to be brought down into his conservatory so that he could look out onto his garden in the dying stages of his (now) asbestos ravaged life. I doubt I need say more, but I can, on another day, if you’d like.
The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is #nature.
It’s not a cure, but it is a well researched remedy. It’s why our green spaces matter, and it’s what has propped us up during Covid. It’s also what will support us as we fully emerge, and what continues to connect us to the earth whilst we’re here.
This week, let’s be mindful of all those struggling, and if you can recommend a remedy, let it be this one. It may be some benefit.