Video shows mental health benefits of nature in Argyll

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A short film to help communities value the positive benefits to people’s mental wellbeing and spending more time outdoors has been launched.

The project is the result of a partnership between Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT), Argyll and Bute Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) and the Health and Wellbeing Network (HWN).

ACT shot the film over several months in Argyll and Bute to capture seasonal scenic footage from areas such as Crinan Ferry, Blarbuie Woodland, Old Kilmory Road in Lochgilphead, and at Kilfinan Community Woodland in Tighnabruaich.

Grace McLeod, chairwoman of ACT, said: ‘This film gave us a great opportunity to encourage people to enjoy some of the natural treasures that we have on our doorstep in Argyll and Bute.

‘We wanted to show that being active outdoors has benefits for everyone regardless of their age or ability. While making the film we had all types of weather and locations to experience.’

HWN and ACT are keen to encourage communities to change the way they view outdoor activities to see it as something we ‘should do’ and to value the positive health and wellbeing benefits that natural environments can have.

The film showcases nature making a real difference to the quality of people’s daily lives and helping to improve their mental wellbeing.

Sandra Cairney, the HSCP associate director of public health, added: ‘The film has been produced for people to recognise that being physically active doesn’t have to mean doing sport or working out at the local gym.

‘The short production focuses on taking part in nature-based and outdoor activities to help people who are suffering from mental ill-health to reduce their levels of anxiety, stress, and depression.

‘Scientific evidence has proven that green spaces and spending more time outdoors in natural environments is beneficial to improve mental wellbeing.

‘Regular physical activity and being socially included is an important part of living well. People who lead an active lifestyle are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious illnesses and health conditions”.

Watch the video at https://bit.ly/2NqQ7cG