Last reviewed 10 May 2021

Taking place this year from 10 to 16 May, Mental Health Awareness Week has nature as its theme, after research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of people’s top coping strategies.

The Mental Health Foundation said: “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.”

Given that 13% of UK households have no access to a garden, the Foundation argues that being able to visit green spaces must be a facility available for everyone to enjoy — “as basic as having access to lean water or a safe roof over our heads”.

Its two goals for the week are:

  • to inspire more people to connect with nature in new ways, noticing the impact that this connection can have for their mental health

  • to convince decision-makers at all levels that access to and quality of nature is a mental health and social justice issue as well as an environmental one.

See the Mental Health Foundation website for more details.

Meanwhile, Mental Health UK has chosen to mark the week, and its theme, by asking people to download a picture of a tulip created by artist Paul Cummins, to then colour it in blue and place it in their window as a symbol of mental health awareness.

Details, including access to the tulip picture, can be found at mentalhealth-uk.org.

Finally, Mind has said: “Whether you use social media or simply speak with friends, family or colleagues ― mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 by telling those around you why you’ve joined the fight for mental health and help create a movement for change.” It offers social media packs on the Mind website.