One of the most powerful forces to help our mental wellbeing can be simply being ‘in nature’. The Japanese have the term; ‘Shinrin-yoku’ which roughly translates to ‘Forest Bathing’, and it’s said to help with a variety of ailments including our mental health. Our Unworry Workshops bring together nature, therapy, and peer-support.
Working with a hand-picked selection of other local non-profit organisations, Nest + Grow has developed the concept of a half-day outdoor therapy session bringing together elements of ecotherapy, walking therapy, and forest school to provide a holistic support session for those working to build their mental resilience.
On National Trust land in Dover with its own fascinating history, we plan to run our pilot Unworry Workshop; a Tipi with a firepit, A Forest School Practitioner, a Facilitator, and a Therapist.
Together they will lead a small group of people through a structured programme of building a communal fire, preparing bread dough, heating soup, and cooking bread together. Afterward, they will share their meal whilst all the time engaging in therapeutic discussions and peer support.
Working with The Silverback Project, a local Community Interest Company, we will be providing a number of physical craft activities that help the participants to take part mindfully, safely, and to build towards their sense of achievement from the workshop.
The Facilitator will lead the group through discussions whilst making space for peer-support to take place and for the group to bond over both shared experiences and different perspectives.
The Therapist is present to support the Facilitator, and also to provide the opportunity for any brief one-to-one interventions that may be needed if the group discussion triggers and difficult emotions or reactions.
Altogether, the group will have come together as strangers, built a collective task, broken bread, shared stories, and through this, the evidence will show improved wellbeing scales and a sense of renewed vigour.
The Unworry Workshops are a mental health project from Nest + Grow CIC.