Somerset residents have been asked to share photos of their favourite ‘Happy Place’ in advance of Mental Health Awareness week (15 – 21 May).
The theme of the 2023 campaign is anxiety, and those taking part can share photos of places they go in Somerset to help them to feel calmer and happier, using the hashtags #SomersetMyHappyPlace and #ToHelpMyAnxiety on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The images that are shared will be used to create a map of “calming spaces” in Somerset that will be uploaded to the Healthy Somerset website www.healthysomerset.co.uk/mental-health-awareness-week/, and people can submit their images from 27 April – 15 May.
Councillor Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset Council said:
Getting outside and connecting to nature can be great for our mental health, reducing anxiety, and supporting our wellbeing. We hope this campaign will showcase all the wonderful natural spaces that we are so fortunate to have in Somerset and encourage people to step outside and spend time in nature if they are feeling anxious.
Anxiety is a normal emotion that we all feel, but sometimes it can get out of control and affect our mental health. Lots of things can lead to feelings of anxiety, and it is one of the most common mental health problems we can face. Research has shown that getting outside is good for both our physical and mental health.
As part of the campaign, Somerset Council’s Public Health Team are also asking organisations such as schools, local businesses, libraries, and supermarkets to set up their own ‘Worry Tree’ (this could be real or artificial).
The idea of the ‘Worry Tree’ is that people can write down their worries and how they manage them and hang them on the tree The aim is that by sharing worries people feel less alone, and by sharing what people do to help their anxiety, the trees will act as a source of support. Somerset Council’s tree will be on display in the main entrance of County Hall.
For more information and to get involved, visit: www.healthysomerset.co.uk/mental-health-awareness-week/.