Great outdoors give mental health boost

Loch na Leighe. Pic by Raibeart MacAoidh on Geograph.
Loch na Leighe. Pic by Raibeart MacAoidh on Geograph.

A short film has been produced to show how the great outdoors can help improve people’s mental wellbeing.

It has been launched through a partnership of Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT), Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) Health and Wellbeing Network (HWN).

The film was shot over several months in Argyll and Bute to capture seasonal scenic footage from areas such as Crinan Ferry, Blarbuie Woodland at Kilfinan Community Woodland in Tighnabruaich.

ACT chair Grace McLeod said: “This film gave us a great opportunity to encourage people to enjoy some of the natural treasures that we have on our doorstep in Argyll and Bute.

“We wanted to show that being active outdoors has benefits for everyone, regardless of their age or ability.

“While making the film we had all types of weather and locations to experience.”

The HWN and ACT are keen to encourage communities to change the way they view outdoor activities in order to see it as something we ‘should do’ and to value the positive health and wellbeing benefits that natural environments can have on your body and mind.

Sandra Cairney, Argyll and Bute HSCP’s associate director of public health, said: “The film has been produced for people to recognise that being physically active doesn’t have to mean doing sport or working out at the local gym.

“The short production focuses on taking part in nature-based and outdoor activities to help people who are suffering from mental ill-health to reduce their levels of anxiety, stress and depression.

“Scientific evidence has proven that green spaces and spending more time outdoors in natural environments is beneficial to improve mental wellbeing. Regular physical activity and being socially included is an important part of living well.

“People who lead an active lifestyle are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious illnesses and health conditions.”

The film can be watched online here