Eco-therapy good for Kiwis

3 Nov, 2015

Spending time in nature improves our wellbeing. It’s not just something that’s nice to do, it’s good for your mental and physical health.

That’s why the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand (MHF) is delighted to be partnering with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to work together to promote good mental health and protect New Zealand’s precious environment.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed by the MHF and DOC, which will see both organisations working together on projects (based on the MHF’s Five Ways to Wellbeing) that share conservation and mental health goals.

“Spending time in nature improves our wellbeing,” says MHF chief executive Judi Clements. “It’s not just something that’s nice to do – it’s actually good for you!”

“There’s a growing interest in people receiving ‘eco-therapy’ when they’re feeling low. We benefit from being in nature, taking notice of the beauty that is around us, connecting with others and being active. It helps us to feel relaxed, take an interest in other people and improves our sense of wellbeing,” she says.

“The health benefits of getting out into the natural world cannot be underestimated,” conservation minister Maggie Barry, says.

“The links with improved physical and mental health are proven and well established. People feel less stressed, more relaxed and refreshed when they venture into the outdoors, whether they are exercising or helping to contribute to a worthwhile conservation project.”

The Five Ways to Wellbeing are Be Active, Keep Learning, Connect, Take Notice and Give – with this partnership with DOC the MHF hopes to encourage people to practise each of these simple strategies while helping to conserve our natural environment.

Read the media release from the Minister of Conservation.