“Go outside and get some fresh air- it’s free!”
It’s easy to tell someone struggling with poor mental health to get outside and enjoy the world around them, but taking those first steps can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Finding green spaces in urban areas isn’t always easy and, with bigger populations and less space to share, areas that are well known are often overcrowded. Studies have shown the importance of spending time in nature and that, while walking itself can help to refresh our state of mind, the same activities done in a natural setting have greater benefits than in an urban one.
When you consider this, you might assume that people living in rural areas are less likely to have poor mental health due to the amount of green space available. The reality is far more complicated. Suicide rates in urban and rural areas are almost identical, although the factors affecting the mental health of people living in urban areas are reversed when discussing rural mental health. For the latter, there are too few people spread out over too large a space, resulting in social isolation and isolation from supportive infrastructures.
This weekend the Astrosat team will show how we help to look after our mental health. We hope that by mapping routes and adding them to AllTrails and Komoot we can provide someone with a route to help them get some fresh air, sightsee off the beaten track, or to find areas where other friendly walkers often go,- maybe we’ll even get some sunshine too (come on Scottish weather!)
We implore everyone to do whatever they can to contribute to the good mental health of themselves and others. It’s easier to take those first steps too if there are footprints guiding the way.