Family walking in the bush
Image: Leigh-Anne Wiig | DOC

Introduction

Kiwis are being encouraged to step out into the world’s best backyard and reap the health and wellbeing benefits this Mental Health Awareness Week (9-15 October).

Date:  09 October 2017

"Nature is Key is the theme, and it’s all about people ‘unlocking’ their wellbeing by spending time in the great outdoors,” DOC’s Partnerships Manager Leonie Fechney says.

“We’re lucky in New Zealand. We have a wealth of conservation land – the world’s best backyard – where people can immerse themselves in the natural environment.

“A recent DOC survey shows that people visit our national parks primarily to enjoy the scenery and spend time with nature. I’ve no doubt they were also enjoying the restorative, therapeutic benefits of being in natural surroundings, perhaps without even realising!”

Leonie says screeds of international research has repeatedly shown the mental health benefits of spending time in green spaces such as parks, reserves and forests.

“With all the evidence telling us that getting out into nature makes a positive difference to our lives, I encourage people to visit DOC’s website and plan a visit to a DOC park or reserve where you can relax and enjoy nature.”

Through its Healthy Nature, Healthy People programme, DOC works in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation to encourage people to use New Zealand's natural spaces to maintain and improve our health and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week.

Contacts

For media enquiries contact:

Elizabeth King, DOC Media Adviser
Mobile: +64 27 204 7029
Email: elking@doc.govt.nz

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