• Wellbeing

Step outside for your mental health

Published on 3 min read


Improve your wellbeing

We caught up with some of our OS Champions to chat about their experiences with mental health and how getting outside, talking to someone, and connecting with nature can make all the difference and improve your wellbeing.

OS Champions 

OS Champion Iwan Thomas and Prof Greg Whyte. Eli Bishop on the far left.

The statistics surrounding being outdoors and mental health speak for themselves. It lowers stress levels, improves mental health, increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and if you spend your time outside talking and listening, with care, then you can throw in a good dose of oxytocin into the mix too.

wild swimming 

Eli Bishop and OS Champion Prof Greg Whyte

Why is talking so important?

Eli Bishop tells us why talking is so important,

“I’ve been telling my story for nearly 6 years and it has been a revelation. If by telling my own story, I’ve helped someone else to talk and seek support, then that’s a win for me. Talking also helps break down stigmas associated with mental health. When we talk ‘health’ what we hope for is that physical and mental health will be seen as equal, because they are.”

Eli’s hosted a series of talks, some with our very own OS Champions, to find out about their experiences with mental health and how getting outside helps them.

“For me the outdoors is my space to be free. Being surrounded by fresh air, nature and like-minded people remind me that it is going to be okay. – Eddie Fitzpatrick”

OS Champion Eddie Fitzpatrick

OS Champion Eddie Fitzpatrick

Eli found that everyone she spoke to values their mental health, whether they regard themselves to have issues or not. What was clear, was that stepping outside and connecting with nature is so important for everyone’s overall health.

“an escape, its where I go to forget about stuff for an hour or two, to get some fresh air and exercise. – Dwayne Fields ”

The notion of walking and talking has taken a hold over the last year with people realising how important it is to connect with a family member or friend on a walk. This connection has been invaluable as a way to talk through emotions, feelings and situations. Having an ear to listen and speaking your thoughts out loud enables you to put things into perspective. As the saying goes, “a problem shared is a problem halved.”

OS Champions David Mellor and family

OS Champions David Mellor and family

OS Champion David Mellor talks about how he now regularly goes hiking and wild camping with a group of fellow dads who have all opened up about their own issues with mental health.

“It has been incredibly liberating for all of us to share our thoughts and stories. – David Mellor ”

It’s clear that everyone interviewed enjoys connecting with people when outside but also nature. One way to connect with the world around you is to go on a sensory walk or you may wish to awaken your senses by wild swimming and reap the benefits it brings.

Mental Health Week

OS Champion Yvonne Witter

“Getting outside helps me to relax, switch off and concentrate on the beauty of the things I can see and admire – animals, plants, trees. – Yvonne Witter”

Three of our OS Champions have come together by the riverbank to reflect on the importance of the link between mental health and the outdoors. They’ve experienced the challenges of mental health in very different ways, but they’re as one when it comes to realising the importance of spending time outside for our physical, mental and social wellbeing. This is the story of Iwan, Greg and Eli……

If you need to talk or want to learn more about managing mental health, visit https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ or https://www.nhs.uk/help

Liked by 1 users


Digital Maps

Use OS Maps to see more detail including footpaths, bridleways, cycle tracks and rights of way.

Use world-renowned Ordnance Survey mapping with unlimited use of every OS Explorer and OS Landranger map for the whole of Great Britain. That’s instant access to 607 maps to view, print, or download to your phone – all included in your subscription.

Launch OS Maps


OS Shop

Use OS Maps to see more detail including footpaths, bridleways, cycle tracks and rights of way.

Go to the shop