# News
Today marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health. The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May. This year, the theme for the week is ‘Nature’. Across the country, people will be celebrating the mental health benefits of being around nature in their local community in a range of digital and creative ways. The Star Refrigeration group of companies are getting involved to challenge the stigma around mental health by hosting an event each day. The theme of this year’s campaign is nature, so we will be encouraging our employees to get out and experience nature to help improve their well-being. Starfrost and Star will be hosting an event each day, based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing from the New Economics Foundation – Connect, Be Active, Take Notice, Learn and Give. Activities include a Zoom fitness class, connect with nature photography competition, a lunchtime cook-along and staff will also be taking part in the Miles for Mental Health initiative in June to raise money for mental health charities. Gillian Lynch, Human Resources Administrator at Star Refrigeration who has organised the week of events says ‘‘We are pleased to be taking part in Mental Health Awareness Week as part of our effort to ensure that our employees feel able to speak openly about their mental health and are able get the support they need. This comes alongside the support of our trained mental health first aiders and access to counselling which is available to our employees at all times. The feedback received from employees so far has been very positive and I am looking forward to the rest of this week’s activities.’’ Mark Rowland Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said: “Mental Health Awareness Week has grown to be one of the biggest awareness weeks in the UK. This year the theme is on nature and its central role for our mental health.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, millions of us turned to nature to help us get through lockdowns and our research shows that good mental health depends on us being able to connect with nature in some way and its power in both prevention of and recovery from poor mental health. During the week, we want to hear millions of people’s stories about how the natural world has supported their mental health.” “We also want to highlight the huge disparities between who is and who isn’t able to access nature. We want the week to explore how everyone across the UK can connect with nature and experience the mental health benefits wherever they live.” The Mental Health Foundation works to prevent mental health problems and is the home of Mental Health Awareness Week. Their aim is to drive change towards a mentally healthy society for all, and support communities, families and individuals to lead mentally healthy lives with a particular focus on those at greatest risk.  Through their website,  mentalhealth.org.uk , the Foundation highlights some of the ways people can participate in Mental Health Awareness Week: During Mental Health Awareness Week, why not try to make a habit each day of connecting to the nature in your local area? Stop to listen to the birdsong, smell the freshly cut grass, take care of a house plant, notice any trees, flowers or animals nearby. Take a moment to appreciate these connections. Share images/videos/or just sound recordings of the nature on your doorstep (and how this made you feel) on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek Use Mental Health Foundation resources in your family, school, workplace and community to join with thousands of people who will be finding new ways to connect with nature in their local environment. For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw or join the conversation on social media using #ConnectWithNature and #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek