Mind on Countryfile
Posted Friday 14 November 2008
On 16 November 2008, Countryfile on BBC2 did a segment on Ecotherapy, Mind’s long-running campaign to put green exercise on the mental health agenda. Mind Policy and Campaigns Manager Emily Wooster was on the show to discuss the extensive research that shows that regular contact with the natural environment enhances both physical and mental wellbeing.
She was joined by an advocate of ecotherapy, and one of its many success stories, Jane Needham. Jane has a history of depression, but since moving to the countryside and taking up running, she has found that her outlook has greatly improved. Jane now lives on a barge, taking advantage of the open space, while her dog Charlie is the perfect encouragement for her to keep up regular exercise.
For the one in four people in England and Wales who will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives there are few treatment options readily available. Ecotherapy, a treatment that is free of unpleasant side effects, offers a natural addition to existing treatments. In a recent study carried out by Mind it was found that after just one country walk, 71 per cent of people reported a decrease in depression and 90 per cent had increased self-esteem.
Countryfile was broadcast on BBC2 on 16 November, but you can still watch it on BBC iPlayer for another week. For more information visit www.bbc.co.uk/sn/tvradio/programmes/countryfile/
To find out more about green exercise, check out Ecominds, Mind's new multi-million pound grant scheme funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Changing Spaces, that aims to engage people with and without experience of mental health in outdoor activities that will improve their local environment or community.