UK Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from the 10th to the 16th May 2021. This year's theme is “Nature”.
"We all know that good health and safety management makes for good business” says Martin Mulholland of MD Safety “but I would go one step further and suggest that having access to nature can boost focus and creativity which will also positively benefit a business”.
Having access to nature is extremely important. Spending time in nature can be positive for our mental health and wellbeing. Being outside in nature can provide a sense of reflection and peace. This can allow us to get things into perspective, boost our concentration and energy levels.
If this is coupled with physical exercise (which does not even have to be particularly active - an easy stroll is good) then this will not only improve physical health but it can also dramatically reduce stress and anxiety levels.
The Coronavirus pandemic will have had untold effects on many people’s mental health. Around one in five adults experienced some form of depression in the first few months of this year, more than twice as many as before the coronavirus pandemic struck. Employers may only see the or experience the effects once we start to return to our workplaces.
Martin also suggests that “a more to a more flexible working solution will allow employers to promote wellbeing programmes that can include breaks from working to take outdoor activity – either active or passive”.
Recent research has suggested that for every £1 spent on employee mental health, there is a £5 return on investment. Now is the time to look forward and change our understanding of what workplaces can be which will be to the benefit of all.