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KEEPING NATURE IN MIND: Nature based practises for mental health and wellbeing.

This is a practical and immersive workshop for mental health practitioners which will explore ways of working in and with nature therapeutically. You will have the opportunity to experience first-hand some nature-based practices and explore with others how these might be applied in current services and practice, to help children, young people and adults. You will also be exploring ways that these practices can raise your resilience and nourish your wellbeing.

This introduction would suit psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, therapists, teachers, and nature practitioners. Some experience of self-care and working in mental health will be assumed.

These programmes have been jointly developed by Hazel Hill Trust and Westminster Centre for Resilience (WCR). Following two very successful pilot programmes with hospital doctors, and a pilot group tailored to GP’s, they are keen to offer programmes for practitioners in the frontline of mental health services.

Many health professionals have found that a more immersive, catalytic process than the typical half or one-day session in an urban workplace training room is needed to connect the personal with the professional, theory and practice, and to have time and space for a meaningful meeting and enquiry with other like minds.

Hazel Hill Wood have several years’ experience of delivering nature-based resilience programmes for a range of front-line services. ‘Immersions’ offer a unique combination of both teams’ expertise. The format for our September programme is a one-night, 28-hour residential, including the following elements:

  • Conservation work and physical activities to de-stress, relax into the woods and shift gear
  • An evening campfire circle for sharing, mutual support and insights on work stresses
  • Learning some eco therapy practice and eco psychology ideas relevant to mental health settings
  • Practicing simple techniques based on applied neurobiology, mindfulness and traditional sources which can be used in everyday work.
  • An overview of theories & practice of ecopsychology, green and blue care, applied forest school.
  • Networking to share the challenge of keeping nature in mind in mainstream and innovative setting

The Royal college of psychiatrists has been promoting both sustainability and nature-based approaches to mental health care for some years, available to view here. Pilot programmes at Hazel Hill have been evaluated on several measures by Westminster Centre for Resilience and showed statistically significant impacts: A summary of their evaluation is available.

Facilitators for Hazel Hill Immersions programmes have at least two facilitators, one a mental health or healthcare professional, one from Hazel Hill, both with extensive experience of resilience programmes for the health sector. The hosting team for September will be:

Roger Duncan: systemic psychotherapist, author of ‘Nature in Mind’ has a career spanning mainstream mental health work as a family therapist in CAMHS, to running vision quests; he has also been involved with Ruskin Mill College using land based therapeutic education for people with complex learning needs.

Alan Kellas worked as a GP in NHS, private holistic and self-help settings, then as a consultant NHS community and inpatient psychiatrist for children and adults with learning disabilities, and as tutor on the whole person care programme at Bristol Medical School. Alan has a deep interest in nature connections as a factor in health, and is the Nature based mental health care rep for the Royal college of psychiatrists.

Marcos Frangos is General Manager of Hazel Hill Wood, director of Wellspring Change doing systemic personal and organisational resilience work and development. He’s led resilience programmes for health professionals at Hazel Hill and managed a wellbeing strategy in a large local authority.

A magical 70-acre woodland, near Salisbury. It has simple, yet beautifully crafted off-grid wooden buildings with lovely indoor and outdoor group spaces, basic single or twin bedrooms (or camping), good hot showers, civilised compost loos, a sauna and hot tub. See more at www.hazelhill.org.uk. The wood is run by an educational charity whose aims are to promote wellbeing, resilience and sustainability through programmes at the wood for a wide variety of client groups. The food is outstanding!

Timings: From 12.30 Wednesday September 25th 2019 to 16:00 Thursday September 26th 2019

Cost and Booking
The cost £130 per person, including facilitation, accommodation (shared sleeping spaces or camping) and food. Single room supplements are available, and there are a limited number of concessionary places available (please speak to one of the facilitators).

Group limited to 12 participants.

TO BOOK: Please contact Nicky Green for a booking form: ngreen.bookkeeping@gmail.com or m: 07854 089239

FOR ENQUIRIES, CONTACT Marcos Frangos: manager@hazelhill.org.uk or m 07881 425804


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