Poor mental health is a growing concern in the UK. Statistics from the 2014 APMS (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey) have highlighted that “every week, one in six adults will experience symptoms of a common mental health problem”. Startlingly, the survey also highlights that “one in five adults has considered taking their own life at some point”. It’s a fair assumption that, based on these facts, many of the people visiting this website will have had their lives affected by mental health issues; either directly, or indirectly through family and friends.
As a society we’re now being better informed about mental health with numerous organisations working hard, locally and nationally, to de-stigmatise and raise awareness of mental health issues. The promotion of better mental health is being taken up by many employers and businesses. There is also a significant body of research and practice setting out ways to improve mental health and emotional wellbeing. The role of sport and recreation in improving mental health is increasingly clear. Many of the mental health organisations are citing “green exercise” as a means of improving mental health and the NHS are even prescribing it.
The effects of outdoor activities can include stress reduction, improved mood, improved self-esteem and improved health and general well-being. The real challenge now lies in promoting the idea of “green exercise” to those that will benefit from it, providing opportunities for those people to take up outdoor activities, and to support and encourage them as they set out on their individual adventures. This is why we established Black Dog Outdoors.
We are currently working with mental health charities and support groups to help encourage people to take up outdoor activities. We’re also working closely with the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training Associations, Mountaineering Scotland, and British Canoeing to help further promote mental health issues within their respective communities, as well as to create opportunities for introducing people to the outdoors.
Our website provides you with a hub of information and useful advice to ensure you can enjoy and experience the great outdoors safely. This could be everything from a straight-forward fell walk to an alpine adventure, and everything in between. Our work is also being promoted via social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
We hope that this website introduces you to many fine adventures, helps you meet likeminded people, and provides you with the opportunity to develop new skills and abilities. Most importantly, we hope that it helps you to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Good luck, and enjoy, from all of us at Black Dog Outdoors.