10 May 2021
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Reservoirs Helping to Promote Good Mental Health10 May 2021
Arvind Salwan, regular visitor and Friends of Milngavie Reservoir volunteer, connects with nature at Milngavie Reservoirs.
Just one of the beautiful walking trails on offer at Milngavie Reservoirs.
Connecting With Nature
For decades, many of our reservoirs across Scotland have provided the perfect setting for people to do just that. Each year, thousands of visitors enjoy their free time exercising, walking the dog or simply enjoying the beautiful surroundings with family and friends and connecting with the great outdoors.
Lots of us turned to nature for comfort and solace during the pandemic. Recent research carried out by the Mental Health Foundation on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed that going for walks outside was one of the top coping strategies. Forty-five percent of people reported that being in green spaces had been vital for mental health.
Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week
In support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021, Brian Lironi, Director of Corporate Affairs, took part in a socially distanced photocall at Milngavie Reservoirs in East Dunbartonshire, alongside the director of Mental Health Foundation for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lee Knighton.
Supporting Mental Health Awareness Week 2021
Representatives from Scottish Water, Friends of Milngavie Reservoir and the Mental Health Foundation met at Milngavie Reservoirs in support of Mental Health Awareness Week 2021.
“Our reservoirs are vitally important resources providing drinking water for the public but we also recognise the crucial role these green spaces play in offering mental health benefits for visitors.”Brian Lironi
Director of Corporate Affairs, Scottish Water
Brian said: “Scottish Water is proud to support Mental Health Awareness Week and help raise awareness of this hugely important issue. With lots of reservoirs in picturesque settings across Scotland, like Craigmaddie and Mugdock reservoirs here in Milngavie, we’re also extremely proud to offer members of the public access to areas where they can spend time connecting with nature.
“Our reservoirs are vitally important resources providing drinking water for the public but we also recognise the crucial role these green spaces play in offering mental health benefits for visitors.”
They were joined by the Chair of local volunteer group Friends of Milngavie Reservoir - Eddy Yacoubian. Eddy said: “We are delighted to have brought together the Mental Health Foundation and Scottish Water to raise awareness of mental health and the important role that open green space can play.
“Milngavie Reservoirs are a unique and tranquil setting for all to enjoy. The reservoirs and their surrounding area have benefited the health and well-being of many visitors during the past year and the Friends of Milngavie Reservoir will continue to do all we can to improve and protect this special environment.”
Lee Knifton, Director of Mental Health Foundation Scotland, said: “Spending quality time in and around nature can reduce stress and increase feelings of positivity. This is something the Victorians were aware of when they created Milngavie Reservoirs and it still stands today.
“This Mental Health Awareness Week we’re encouraging everyone to connect with nature to support their mental health. You don’t have to be hiking up a Munro to feel the benefits; you can connect with nature in places closer to home such as visiting local parks, looking after a houseplant, or appreciating flowers in a garden. I regularly walk round the Milngavie Reservoirs with my 3-year-old and always feel the benefits.
“During the pandemic and lockdowns, so many of us turned to nature to help us cope with stress and anxiety. We hope that as the easing of restrictions continues that people will keep up their connection with nature and boost their wellbeing.”
Eddy Yacoubian, Chair of Friends of Milngavie Reservoir, with director of Mental Health Foundation for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Lee Knighton and his son.
White pebbles encourage visitors to #ConnectWithNature & help raise awareness of mental health.
Mindfulness Pebbles #ConnectWithNatureTo help raise awareness and encourage visitors to share stories of how nature has supported their mental health, small white pebbles - mindfulness pebbles - have been placed around Milngavie Reservoirs. One side has been painted with the iconic green Mental Health Foundation ribbon, and the other with the Mental Health Awareness Week campaign hashtag - #ConnectWithNature. Visitors are being encouraged to look out for the pebbles and post images and messages across their social media channels when they find them, using the hashtag.
For more information on this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek. You can also find top tips on connecting with nature to improve your mental health at www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week/tips.