WildHub celebrates Mental Health Awareness Week 10-16 May
Highlighting our members who are working to support wellbeing & resilience in our community and have shared useful resources (feel free to add to this list in the comment section!)
WildHub is celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week! This year the theme is Nature and how connecting with the natural world can support good mental health.
Why is raising awareness on how to support good mental health so important to our global conservation community? Jessie Panazzolo, Founder of Lonely Conservationists, shared:
"A focus on mental health is paramount for the future of global conservationists. If conservationists are mentally healthy, supported and have adequate resources to undergo their work, they will produce long-term sustained conservation outputs. Too many conservationists leave their jobs due to bullying from management, stress from being underfunded or a lack of support and resources to aid them, so by ensuring the health and wellbeing of those who are working to conserve our natural spaces, our environment has a better chance of thriving too!"
Today 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.
WildHub will be celebrating this week by highlighting some of our members' work to promote and support good mental health, wellbeing and resilience in our global community of conservationists and beyond! We also invite you to share your any mental health resources you have found useful below in our comment sections and/or highlight how you will be celebrating the Mental Health Awareness Week.
Over the past year, several members in our community who have shared their lessons on wellbeing and resilience, which are topics that are important to our community. These members include:
Jessie Panazzolo, founder of Lonely Conservationists, wrote her lessons learned on the challenges and solutions for improving the well-being in conservationists in her blog on WildHub and later in her book "How to Conserve Conservationists". She also discussed these challenges when she participated in our panel during the WildHub Deep Dive (recording here), as part of the Earth Optimism Digital Summit. Resources: https://
- Mollie Taylor started the podcast The Nature of Loss and shared this resource with our community. She also provided a summary of her MSc Dissertation, looking at the effect of nature on grief.
- Michaela Lo shared her lessons learned "How to do a PhD in the age of coronavirus" with practical tips that helped her adjust in the last year whilst doing a PhD. Last April, Micha and her colleagues at the Women in Conservation Canterbury Network also organised an event in collaboration with WildHub to promote the wellbeing of practitioners and researchers during fieldwork named "Truth be Told: Safety and Support in the Field".
- Kirsty Crawford, co-founder of the networking platform '& another thing' organised with her colleague Laura Cuppage and WildHub member Beth Robinson the event Burnout and Resilience in Conservation. Kirsty also introduces the supportive community '& another thing' in a recent event that WildHub co-hosted (recording here).
- Ross Rowe, problem-solving and executive life coach, has been a regular contributor to our channel "Wellbeing & resilience" and shared his lessons learned on topics such as respecting diversity in conservation teams, respecting the conflicting aspects of self (diversity within), and how to navigate bullying and harassment. He has also coached members of the Women in Conservation Canterbury Network which has been beneficial to their team-work and collaboration with externals (more information here).
- Finally, we would like to highlight that regular check-ins can be promoted by making use of our WildHub community space on Gather, which was built by our WildHub Key Creator, Lucy Tallents.
How you can join the conversation:
In the comment section below or in a separate post, please share with us how you and/or your organisation will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in your local or global community in a range of digital and creative ways!
Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation (UK) said:
“This year the theme is on nature and its central role for 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.
"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 the 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 the nature on your doorstep (and
how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and
#MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and #WildHub
· Use Mental Health Foundation resources in your family, school, workplace and
community to join with thousands of people who will be finding new ways to connect
with nature in their local environment.
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit
mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using
#ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek