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Welcome to the third day of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

Each day there will be things for you to try to support your own wellbeing, daily live talks that you can join (or watch afterwards) from inspiring speakers who will be sharing insights from their life experiences, a series of challenges to help you connect more with nature, and some brilliant work from our Media Learning Company course giving students' views on mental health.  

Taking care of our mental health, and looking out for those around us, is so important. There is something for everyone during Mental Health Awareness Week. Get involved, explore the resources, listen to the experiences of others, and make some time for your mental health and wellbeing this week.  

Try This: Grounding

The benefits of grounding occur through the natural design of our body to work coherently with the earth. When you put your bare feet on the earth you absorb the electron-rich negative charge that is emitted.

This charge promotes a stable bio-electrical environment within us, which is a key to regulating our bodies nervous systems. 

Finding a quiet space to sit in peace, stillness, and with yourself to meditate can easily be one of the most beneficial gifts we can give to ourselves.

A regular meditation practice can shift the way you feel, the energy in your body, and your entire human day to day experience.

Connect with Nature Challenge: Calming Birdsong  

TRIGGER WARNING: contains experiences and language on suicide. 

Today, listen to Joe Harkness' (Bird Therapy) cameo with Chris Packham on BBC Winterwatch. Joe discusses his experiences with his mental health and how he went through counselling, mindfulness workshops and medication. Joe discusses how, for him, bird watching is exactly like meditation, and how a flock of birds symbolises freedom. 

Joe wants all to learn the 5 ways to wellbeing: connect, learn, be active, to give and to take notice. He encourages you to take this into the great outdoors. 

Try it for yourself. Go out on a walk and record some birdsong. Play it back when you feel overwhelmed. 

Live Talk: Josh Elgood

Josh is a freelance Industrial Engineer, working in a bustling industry, he has needed to not only prove himself once graduating but had also lacked in his work-life balance.

Josh has joined us to discuss about his struggles and mental health whilst being in school to finding out after university that he wasn't naughty, he was struggling from a lack of support and being diagnosed as dyslexic.

Josh also touched on his role in the industrial industry with anecdotes on sustainability and the environment.

He has shared his top tips that he is currently working on to manage stress from a full-on role and how to gain a better work-life balance.

We would be appreciative if you could fill in the feedback form if you have had a chance to catch up on this recording, it should only take you a minute or two. 

Connect with Nature Challenge: Be a Bird Song Hero

Bird song and bird watching are said to be a great natural mental health booster, especially for stress, anxiety and depression. Studies completed in the UK show significant changes in stress, anxiety and depression after doing several hours of bird watching, but they also notice a significant increase in happiness.

The RSPB have created a 'bird song ID playlist' for you to discover what birds you have been listening on your walks. Play the Bird Song Hero game to see how many you can match correctly, here you can also download free bird songs.

Let us know how you get on: If you feel like sharing your experience of this challenge on social media, use the hashtags #mentalhealthawarenessweek #connectwithnature - and don't forget to tag the college in your post!  

A Student View on Mental Health: Isolation and Loneliness

TRIGGER WARNING: video contains scenes of suicide and drinking.


A short film by George who is one of our Media Learning Company students. Introducing the film, George says:

"I created this film as it is a very important time for awareness to be raised surrounding mental health problems with coronavirus trapping millions of people indoors and subjecting them to months of isolation. I believe that the feeling of loneliness is something that everybody can relate to with what has happened over the last year and therefore I felt that this was an important subject to explore. 

The short film is to show that going outside and enjoying nature can always help somebody who is struggling with their mental health."

To see more work on mental health from our Media Learning Company students, click here. 

Connect with Nature Challenge: Listen to the Waves

Being by the sea can have huge positive effects on our mental health and mindsets. Research shows that the ocean relieves our stress, energises us and allows us to ground.

Just by living near the seaside or visiting when you are feeling overwhelmed will allow you to ground yourself. But, you don't have to visit the seaside, you can bring the seaside to you. 

There are lots of apps and videos of rolling waves and gentle waters that you can find to provide that sense of nature. Many use this for meditation, concentrating on study work or even for a deep sleep for white noise. 

Watch this video on the benefits of the ocean and begin using ocean waves for when you feel overwhelmed. 

Let us know how you get on: If you feel like sharing your experience of this challenge on social media, use the hashtags #mentalhealthawarenessweek #connectwithnature - and don't forget to tag the college in your post!