Most of us see nature as important in our own lives. Taking a break, or having a holiday often means being in nature: being by or in water, walking or gardening.
There is increasing evidence that engaging with nature can not only help people relax from the stresses and strains of everyday life, it can also help reduce mental health symptoms across a range of disorders.
Based on this evidence, we encourage those with mental health issues, where appropriate, to engage more directly with nature-based groups.
These groups or activities are sustainable because they are usually cheap to run, have low environmental impacts and are socially inclusive. This evidence is outlined in a wide range of papers (PDF).
Recently, a model has been devised of how different people at different times can engage with nature to improve their health (image).