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Wednesday, 05 May 2021

Connecting with nature for Mental Health Awareness Week

Connecting with nature for Mental Health Awareness Week

It's Mental Health Awareness week this week. and this year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’.

We will be running some exciting events throughout the week. Make sure to check in daily.

Monday 10 May

MHW @SWLStG introduction video: Chief Executive, Vanessa Ford and Medical Director, Billy Boland share their thoughts about mental health week, the importance of nature for our wellbeing and introduce our photo campaign. Watch the video here

Share with us: This Mental Health Week, the theme is ‘Nature’. During the week we’re asking you to share your images, videos or sound recordings of nature and tell us how they make you feel. Send them to us via email, or tag is on social media (@SWLStG)

Announcement of funding: On the first day of Mental Health Week we’re announcing that we have secured a £2.8m investment in community mental health services. The funding will be used to deliver improvements as part of a larger investment over the next three years, to develop new models of care across South West London, designed to support community and inpatient services to work better together.

Tuesday 11 May

Running Club T-Shirt Competition: This is a competition to design the running club t-shirt so that we can all represent the Trust and promote mental health when out and about in Tooting! We’re asking staff, service users and the community to send us their best artwork and the best artwork will be printed on the t-shirts. You can draw your art on an A4 piece of paper and send it (via Scan preferably but photo will do) to with the title ‘Running Club Competition.’ We will also be asking wards and service users to take part. Entries close end of May. All winners will receive a free t-shirt that they have helped to design. 

Couch to 5KM Programme:The Trust has launched a Couch to 5K programme for staff and service users who want to improve their own physical health. The programme has already begun but it isn't too late to get involved. If you are into your exercise or want to get into running, then join the Trust’s running club which meets every Tuesday evening. For more details on the running club or the Couch to 5K please email

Across the country, people are celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways.

At South West London at St George’s we are sharing a variety of content across our channels and encouraging our staff, services users and wider community to get involved online. Join in and share your photos online using the hashtag #ConnectWithNature and tagging us in @SWLSTG. 

You can hear from some of our clinicians on the mental health benefits of nature and exercise. We’ll be talking to staff and students using gardening to support their mental health and wellbeing through our longstanding partnership with charity Sharegarden. And as work continues on the development of Springfield Village, we’ll hear more about the development of our new 32-acre public park and the benefits this will have for our whole community.

Find out more about how you can get involved at:

Wednesday 12 May

Connecting with nature at Share Garden: Rob3Share Community runs Share Nurseries, a horticultural social enterprise, that provides training and employment support for disabled adults, including those with learning disabilities, autism, physical and sensory impairments, and mental health needs.

To celebrate the week’s theme we took the opportunity to visit the Share Community garden onsite at Springfield University Hospital.

We heard from the programme’s staff and students on what gardening and being outside in nature means to them and the impact it has on their health and wellbeing. Check out our interviews with the team here.

writing roomTalking mental health with Jupiter Ward:
With nature the focus for the year’s awareness week, we caught up earlier this week with Ioanna, a member of the
team from Jupiter Ward to find out more about their gardening project and what
this week means to them. Check out our interview on our blog here


New building May 21Launching our schools artwork project: We are also pleased to mark Mental Health Awareness week with the launch our art hoardings project for local schools. As part of our Springfield Village development, we are building up to date healthcare facilities so that our patients have the best environment in which to recover. These facilities will make life better for the people who use our services today and for generations to come.

During the construction phase, we are looking for artwork to brighten up our hoardings on site. As part of the 'nature' theme for Mental Health Awareness Week, we would like you to send us your pupils’ brightly coloured drawings showing how they connect with nature and how it makes them feel.* 

To submit art work please email , an explanation of the drawing, and contact details so that we can get in touch with you.

*Artwork must be no bigger than A3 and must avoid images that may be deemed as potentially offensive

Thursday 13 May

A 32-acre park for south west London: Ian Garlington, Trust Integrated Programme Director, provides an update on the development of a 32-acre park in south west London. From rose gardens, footbridges, ponds and an abundance of open space for south west Londonders to enjoy – we are delighted to be providing the biggest outdoor development since the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Click here to find out more about this exciting development, with phase one of the park opening in the Spring 2023!

Your nature pictures: We have been so pleased to receive all your nature images so far this week. It’s not too late to get involved so next time you go for a walk or run please do take a snap and join in online using the hashtag #ConnectWithNature and tagging us in @SWLSTG.


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