Charity, Health, Latest News, Wildlife | Posted: Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 at 2:55 pm | return to news

Wildlife charity appeals for support for mental wellness project

Butterfly Conservation is appealing for support for its Social Butterflies project, aimed at alleviating poor mental health in the South West.

Painted Lady © Iain H Leach
Painted Lady © Iain H Leach

The UK charity dedicated to saving butterflies, moths and the environment aims to use interaction with and care for the natural world to improve mental health.

While an award from Postcode Local Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, has made the project possible, a further £7,000 is needed in order to fully realise the ambition and impact of the project.

The project hopes to replicate the success of a similar one in Devon and Somerset called All the Moor Butterflies in 2019. That project developed new links with the NHS Health Trust, and aims to develop further partnerships with health trusts and research bodies across the South West.

Senior engagement and development officer at Butterfly Conservation, Megan Lowe said, “For those struggling with mental health, treatment can often be medication rather than mitigation, but scientific research has shown that there are strong links between our mental well-being and how connected we are to nature.

“With the growing concerns around the state of people’s mental health amid the pandemic, this project is now needed more than ever. In August a report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the rates of depression had almost doubled during the pandemic. A Natural England ‘People in Nature’ survey showed that in May, during lockdown, eight out of 10 adults agreed that ‘being in nature makes me very happy’.

“Butterflies are emblems of change and growth and we’ve seen through our previous project the huge benefits to people who are provided with the opportunity to spend time in nature doing positive work for conservation.

“This project will enable us to explore how we can work together with a range of partners to make the healing effects of nature accessible to many more people. The objective is to create training course materials, identify locations where this inspirational course can be replicated in future years and connect with local partners who could promote, support and benefit from this work. We are incredibly grateful for any donations from people who can support this project.”

To find out more about the project or donate visit: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/boost-mental-health-with-butterflies#start

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