Mental Health Awareness Week
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week (15 - 19 May). This is an important event that aims to raise awareness about mental health issues, reduce stigma, and promote mental wellbeing. It provides an opportunity for individuals, organisations, and communities to come together and prioritise mental health.
We take mental health very seriously at the Farm and understand how much Farm Volunteering can help with your wellbeing. This comes from over 20 years of feedback from volunteers and their families as they showcase the positive effects the Farm has on their lives. We asked some of the guardians of our Young Volunteers to describe how the Farm has helped them.
Not only do we receive feedback from our families but we also chat regularly with our volunteers directly to make sure we are doing all we can to help them on their wellbeing journey. During Mental Health Awareness Week, some of our Adult Volunteers took a walk from the Farm to Penllergare Woods. One of our volunteers kindly put together some words to help explain their struggles with mental health and how the Farm (and the walk) helps them.
WALK THIS WAY - Swansea Community Farm Walk to Penllergare Woods
"As perfectly imperfect my life has been, by the Grace of God that is bestowed upon me, I have learned to live with the remnants of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. Living with anxiety, almost everything is perceived as a potential threat or a void that is about to collapse on itself. Most of this is false evidence appearing very real indeed. The easiest way to deal with it would be to isolate, and yet, the more one isolates one self, the more depression gains a foothold.
The farm has helped me out without end. I'm not only much better with people around me. Training and new skills learnt helped me regain the confidence that I once had. Let's face it if you can look a highland cow in the face and take some pictures while doing it. You must be doing ok. Oh, did I mention that I was wearing a high-vis vest."
It's important to continue this awareness beyond just one week and foster a culture of understanding, empathy, and support for mental health throughout the year. Remember, mental health matters every day, and everyone can play a role in creating a more mentally healthy society.