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Empowerment are delighted to be supporting ‘Mental Health Awareness Week- 10th-16th May’ which this year is highlighting the role that ‘Nature’ can play in helping improve our mental health. At Empowerment, we are passionate about ending the stigma felt and experienced by people with mental health issues. This is why we encourage our staff and volunteers to be open about their mental health in a safe and supportive setting. We are equally passionate in ensuring the voices of those struggling with mental illness are listened to and that they get the help and support they need.

However, speaking from personal experience I know that getting outside to enjoy our local parks, green spaces such as the North Blackpool Pond Trail (https://www.facebook.com/northblackpoolpondtrail/)  and our fabulous beaches can have a very positive effect on my mental health. I also know that in times past I have only ventured outside because of the encouragement of others. Reflecting on this, I think we should all ask ourselves what we can do either individually or collectively to encourage our family and friends who are struggling with mental illness to get outside.

Empowerment is very fortunate to have a garden space to the rear of our building, we are in the process of turning this into the ‘Empowerment Sanctuary’, which will be an oasis of calm for people to enjoy a relaxing therapeutic environment. We are hoping that people with mental health issues will be able to find some healing from their experience in the garden.

Helping each other to improve our mental health is one of our most urgent tasks, enjoying being in nature and experiencing its healing effect is only one piece of the jigsaw in improving our mental health; but is vital one. To check out the resources for Mental Health Awareness Week please click here: Mental Health Awareness Week

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