The global pandemic in 2020 has hit people’s mental health hard
Over the course of this October, Merrell have been running a campaign in aid of the mental health charity Mind. They’ve been encouraging people to get outside and explore their local area, to improve mental health during what has, for so many, been a very difficult year.
The initiative follows a survey by Mind of more than 16,000 people during lockdown which revealed the scale of the impact of the pandemic on people with mental health problems. Two out of three (65%) adults and three-quarters (75%) of young people aged 13-24 with an existing mental health problem reported worse mental health. Over half of adults (51%) and young people (55%) without experience of mental health problems also said their mental health has got worse during this period.
“They’ve been encouraging people to get outside and explore their local area”
Merrell is supporting Mind to promote the benefits of time and experiences in the outdoors on mental health, something that has increased in importance during 2020. The new initiative entitled Hike From Home, inspires everyone to explore new, local walks from their doorstep as a means to enjoy time outdoors during the pandemic as well as supporting mental health and wellbeing.
Science reveals that exercise and time spent outside can aid both physical and mental health. Research into ecotherapy, a type of therapy which involves doing activities outside in nature, has been shown to help with mild and moderate depression.
The results of lockdown, social distancing and travel restrictions have laid the foundations for a rise in micro-travel, opening the door to doorstep discovery – uncovering new routes and hidden gems near home that may otherwise have remained undiscovered.
MistaJam, DJ, radio presenter and father of three who has lived experience of mental health problems is supporting the initiative: “As someone who has experienced depression, anxiety and suicide attempts, it has always been important to get to a place where I understand myself more and take care of myself. The focus on self-care has certainly amplified during the pandemic as it has brought about many new challenges, worries and responsibilities – from child-care to having our movement restricted.
“It’s been about giving yourself timeout, space to decompress and getting out into nature”
“For me it’s been about giving yourself timeout, space to decompress and getting out into nature. Being in a place where you can reconnect is vital and in my experience, during the height of depression, you feel disconnected to everything.
“I’ve been reconnecting through walks with the family, for us, it’s been discovering new routes from our doorstep and spending quality time with the kids. When the treadmill of normal life stops, it has afforded us more time to explore new things, and we’ve found walking around our local area, finding new cool places a necessary break from the same four walls.”
To help people ‘Hike From Home’, Merrell has partnered with Komoot – Europe’s biggest digital community of outdoor enthusiasts and acclaimed route planning and navigation app – to get people outside for their mental health throughout October. Participants have been tagging Merrell and #HikeFromHome in their activity title on Komoot to take part.
To soundtrack participant’s Hikes From Home, MistaJam has created a bespoke playlist. Speaking about his musical passion, MistaJam added: “I listen to lots of soundscapes, music that goes really well with nature and the natural environment. Getting out for a walk is also a great opportunity to listen to albums too, immersing yourself in a body of work”.
For the full statistics and information about Mind’s research into coronavirus and mental health, visit the Mind website.
For more on Merrell footwear, head here.
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