Mental Health Awareness Week and connecting with nature

As Mental Health Week has drawn to a close, we have been reflecting on how our pupils and staff have spent some time connecting with nature.

Recent National Trust research found a link between feeling connected with nature and improved wellbeing, therefore throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, people have been encouraged to get outside and find ways to connect with their surroundings. From nature photography competitions and nature walks to swimming challenges and spa nights, our pupils have taken some time to focus on their mental health and wellbeing.

Each of our Houses set up a variety of activities, in order to encourage the pupils to go outside. Photography competitions were a highlight of the week for many, as they were able to capture things such as the beautiful blossom trees and the woodland areas that we have on our wide-spread campus. Other highlights to help unwind included plant pot painting and nature walks.

Aside from House activities, pupils also took part in various challenges in order to raise money for Young Minds UK. The Swimming team began their River Thames Challenge last Monday, in which they attempted to swim the length of the River Thames which is a staggering 346km long! The challenge ran until Saturday, allowing pupils to collectively gain lengths to add to their overall total. Pupils successfully completed the challenge and swum over 348km, which is a mind-blowing 13,942 lengths! They were able to raise £1,724 for the Young Minds charity.

Another challenge that is taking place at the end of May, is the Bartle Frere Weekend Marathon Challenge. Throughout last week, pupils in Bartle Frere began practicing, by running around the campus and through the woods with their peers, making the most of being outside and enjoying the nature in their surroundings. There is more to come on this in the following weeks.

We hope that everyone took the time to connect with nature during Mental Health Awareness Week, and that you continue to do so in order to improve your mental health and wellbeing.