Mind Over Mountains is a social enterprise offering therapeutic outdoor experiences to restore mental well-being. Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic forced their residential weekend programmes to a halt, they have developed new programmes to help local people safely reconnect with the outdoors in the wake of lockdown.
In July they are offering guided fell-walking days in the Lake District and Peak District led by professional Mountain Leaders, with smaller groups to support social distancing and group size restrictions. The walks will be combined with their core ingredients of professional coaching and mindfulness skills, to be delivered virtually instead.
The emerging mental health consequences of COVID-19 has further highlighted the importance of spending time outdoors for well-being. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned that services could be overwhelmed by “a tsunami of mental illness”, with 4 in 10 psychiatrists reporting an increase in people needing services, including new patients, in the wake of the lockdown.
Mind Over Mountains are also offering bursaries to frontline NHS workers and those who have found themselves unemployed or receiving income support.
Alex Staniforth, mental health activist and co-founder of Mind Over Mountains said, “We are determined to provide safe and responsible access to the outdoors for those most affected by COVID-19 as quickly as possible. Following the isolation of lockdown the opportunity to reconnect with the outdoors, learn self-help skills, and ‘walk and talk’ with like-minded people has never been more necessary.”
The initial event will take place on Saturday 18th July at Blencathra Field Studies Centre in Threlkeld, near Keswick. Places will be focussed on benefitting the local Cumbrian community amongst the worst impacted by the virus, with the aim to minimise travel distances and local impact. More programmes are to be announced throughout the summer.
Gill Haigh, Managing Director for Cumbria Tourism is welcoming Mind Over Mountain’s return to the Lakes, “Cumbria and the Lake District’s beautiful outdoor spaces mean so much to so many – 94% of people feel better mentally whilst visiting*. Travel restrictions, whilst vital to help save lives and protecting our NHS, left many unable to enjoy the outdoors at a time when they needed it most. Mind Over Mountains are doing fantastic work supporting people’s mental health through the power of the outdoors and we commend their commitment in continuing this vital work in spite of the logistical issues Coronavirus poses.”
Mind Over Mountains C.I.C was founded in 2019 – their therapeutic outdoor experiences aim to help people restore their well-being by building resilience and encouraging positive lifestyle habits.
To enquire or find out more details, please visit www.mindovermountains.org.uk
Or contact [email protected]