To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, a collection of nature-based photographs taken by Small Steps participants, were presented to Ty Illtyd in Brecon to be displayed on the Mental Health Resource Centre’s walls. The Brecon Beacons National Park Authority organised the socially distanced handover of the framed images yesterday, Thursday 13th May, with Small Steps members in attendance.
Small Steps is a Welsh Government funded project involving
participants referred by the Mental Health Service and led by staff from the
National Park’s Communities team. Attendees were invited to take part in a
range of walks and activities connecting with nature in the National Park
including photography workshops. The Project finished in September 2020, but
due to the pandemic the photograph presentation with Ty Illtyd was delayed
until this week.
A selection of the Small Steps photographs are now also on display in the windows of Found Gallery and Visit Brecon in Brecon town centre.
Stephanie Evans, National Park Authority Transition Director
“The theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is nature, highlighting the importance of getting outdoors for our mental health and wellbeing. As a National Park, our outdoor spaces are here for everyone to benefit from and we actively enable that through community projects such as Small Steps. I’m pleased to see that this collection of photographs taken by Project participants are now visible to members of the community and hope they will continue to inspire people to connect with nature.”
Kirsty Davidson from Ty Illtyd added, “The benefits of exploring the National Park and learning creative and rural skills through Small Steps has been a fantastic opportunity for everyone involved. We are grateful to the Authority for supporting us and look forward to working together again in the future.”
Psychologists from Powys Teaching Health Board conducted quantitative and qualitative research throughout the Small Steps Project and found that getting outdoors in the National Park had a significant effect on depression and anxiety, increased general wellbeing and led to reduced service use from NHS, third sector and emergency services.