Mental health problems affect one in four of us, yet many people are still afraid to talk about it. Walking is a perfect way to start having a conversation with others and opening up.
Being physically active, connecting with nature and other people – the ingredients of a Ramblers group walk - are all things which have been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and wellbeing.
That is why the Ramblers has teamed up with Time to Change – a campaign run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to end mental health stigma.
Today for Time to Talk Day, we are encouraging the nation today to get walking and talking about mental health.
We want to bring together the right ingredients to have a conversation about mental health. Whether that’s strolling through your local park with a friend or hiking up a hill with a new group, walking can benefit your wellbeing and get you talking.
Jo Loughran, director of Time to Change, which is run by charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, said:
“It’s easy to think there’s no right place to talk about mental health but there are lots of different ways to start the conversation. And you don’t have to be an expert to talk. Walking is a great option - and it’s good for our physical health too.
“Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open. We might think we know how our friends are doing because we’ve seen their latest post on social media. However, in a world where many of us only share our ‘best bits’ online we’re urging everyone to use Time to Talk Day as an opportunity to break down barriers and change lives.”
Tompion Platt, director of advocacy and engagement for the Ramblers, said:
“We know that walking with a Ramblers group is a lifeline for many people with mental health problems. We regularly hear stories from our members about how it has helped them through difficult times, like coping with bereavement or depression. There’s just something about being out in nature and walking side by side with someone that makes it easier to start chatting.”
We’d love to hear about your walks and the conversations you’ve had along the way. Tweet us photos to @RamblersGB and @TimetoChange, using #TimetoTalk and #walkandtalk.
Find out more and download our walking and talking guide.