A new Health and Wellbeing website has launched aiming to motivate and support people to get outdoors, into nature and to take small steps towards improving their mental and physical health.
www.thinkhealththinknature.scot is the web based platform of the Highland Green Health Partnership, an initiative led by NHS Highland and working to improve health and tackle health inequalities as part of Our Natural Health Service.
Visitors can search an online directory for activities, including walks and green spaces within their local area, as well as local groups, green health events and initiatives that may be taking place.
The directory has been split into 8 geographical areas that make up the Highlands; Badenoch and Strathspey, Caithness, Inverness, Lochaber, Nairn, Ross-Shire, Skye and Lochalsh and Sutherland. This allows users to pinpoint activities available on their doorstep.
In addition there are mental and physical health inspired resources relating to the outdoors, including: case studies, guidance, downloadable apps and a series of printable nature identification sheets and walk journals.
There is firm evidence to support that regular participation in outdoor activity brings health and well-being benefits by reducing social isolation and stress, improving physical inactivity and promoting improved mental well-being.
The partnership is supported by: Scottish Natural Heritage, Forest and Land Scotland, NHS Health Scotland, Transport Scotland, The Highland Council and High Life Highland, HTSI, University of the Highlands and Islands, Paths for All and the Cairngorms National Park Authority.