Mental Health Awareness Week 2021: Thank you Mother Nature
As part of this year’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek, #ConnectWithNature, Alex explains how going into lockdown in March 2020 caused her to experience a real personal fear of not being able to get out. This made her think more keenly about people who are deprived of their liberty due to mental and physical limitations. Alex is Learning Disability Project Board Co-ordinator and Learning Disability Projects Lead in our #Berkshire team. Here is her story:
“I’m the kind of person who needs to get outside, even for a short while, every single day; so, when we went into lockdown in March of 2020 my initial panic was of the enormity of what the world was going through and then the very real personal fear of not being able to get out. It made me think more keenly about people who are deprived of their liberty because of their mental health or physical limitations. It also made me very aware that I still had the option of being able to leave my front door every day, and because of that, my mental health has remained as stable as possible during these most challenging of times.
I have been comforted and confused by the changing seasons and nature continuing to do ‘its thing’ whilst the rest of the world has struggled to ‘breathe’. I have smiled and laughed on walks when, for example, seeing two weasels play fighting, deer hopping madly across fields, red kites filling the skies. I have cried too; whilst walking through worn footpaths beside small streams and through woodland paths, for the suffering of many and for the people I cannot hold now and never will.
Nature has been a constant comfort however, and I know that I am incredibly lucky to be able to access such beautiful countryside from my home and have the physical ability to walk, run and cycle for many miles and hours and even when that nature has been full force wind and rain and I’m struggling to fight my way through it, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to feel it at all and I know this is a privilege.
Thank you, mother nature for continuing to change and adapt as we all have and for being my constant companion.
I have chosen this photograph as it’s a happy shot as I emerge out of the woods as our world is emerging out of the darkness that has been this pandemic.”
- Alex Osterritter