Mental Health Awareness Week – Seven Ways To Help Your Students Overcome stress
This week is Mental Awareness Week and together the Forestry Commission and television presenter Kate Humble have joined forced to raise awareness about how walking can help you feel relaxed and help your well being. Kate says:-
“Walking for me is a form of mediation, and the simple act of putting one foot in front of another has extraordinary benefits to my mental well being. It helps me feel relaxed, less anxious and more creative.
Walks enjoyed in the nation’s forests can be particularly special. I love to follow trails through the trees where with every step you can enjoy the sounds, sights and smells of nature. Never knowing what wildlife is going to appear on my pathway makes me excited! There is something so simple about walking but the benefits are huge.”
Over half the population live within 6 miles of a Forestry England site and what better time of the year than now to take you class to experience nature. You can choose from a variety of activities from orienteering, shelter building, cycling or self-guided trips. Forestry England have also partnered with Go Ape who have many sites situated in their forest around the country. Dalby Forest is just one of their forests that work together with Go Ape to provide schools with a great day out combining high wire and activity courses with learning about the forest, conservation, the animals that live in the forest and survival.
Beamish Wild in County Durham is another centre that offers high ropes courses as well as bush craft, orienteering, team building and shelter building to help teach students skills and learn about the environment and Conkers in Derbyshire also provide similar facilities, indeed they have over 30 courses to choose from.
As Kate Humble says exercise helps your mental well being and it is proven that the body releases chemicals called endorphins into the body that interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and there are plenty of activities that can help both stimulate your students and teach them new skills and hobbies to help them cope through life, meet new challenges and make new friends.
The Woodland Trust is another excellent organisation that helps to save and conserve our woodland. They too offer activities for schools to teach their students about the natural world.
Have you ever thought of taking your pupils on a wild swimming day out. Well a relatively new and exciting attraction is the North Yorkshire Water Park where you can encourage your children to join in lots of activities, giant slides, canoeing, and water skiing. Wild swimming is something that has recently taken off but was something that most people did before swimming pools were built. Sheffield Ski Centre at Rother Valley Country Park also offers water skiing lessons at their base near Sheffield.
Birmingham Botanical Centre is a relaxing day to remember with huge glasshouses one houses a Tropical Rainforest which is a truly unique rain forest walk. Then there is also a Mediterranean and Alpine garden to explore as well.