Notable buildings and businesses will go green on Monday for Mental Health Awareness Week.
Starting May 10 until May 16, buildings will be illuminated green in support of the charitable initiative, with mental health charity Isle Listen leading the campaign.
They are also asking for people to show their support by wearing something green on Friday, May 14 to highlight the importance of mental health and the vital early intervention and prevention work Isle Listen does in schools, the workplace and community.
Isle Listen said that during the global pandemic and lockdowns, many of us have experienced a mental health problem, or seen a loved one struggle.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health in the face of the unprecedented and overwhelming challenges we have all faced.
Buildings around the island that will be lit up green include Pulrose Power Station, the Tower of Refuge, Ramsey Swing Bridge, Douglas Town Hall, Strand Street in Douglas, Zurich International, Jacksons, 3FM, Canada Life, Manx Telecom, Cycle 360, Manx Utilities and International Financial Group Limited.
Zurich International have worked with Isle Listen to expand the participation of businesses in the Isle of Man Business Park to support Mental Health Awareness Week and Nigel Simpson, Head of International Markets, Zurich International, commented: ’We wholeheartedly support this initiative, which is why we were delighted to help join businesses in the Isle of Man Business Park together to take part in lighting up their buildings.
’The events taking place during Mental Health Awareness Week will send out a strong, positive message about this vitally important issue – and strengthen our long-term partnership with Isle Listen.’
Last October, Isle Listen announced a three-year collaboration with the Z Zurich Foundation and Zurich International in a joint drive to provide mental wellbeing education, prevention and transformative early intervention on the Isle of Man.
The theme for this year’s MHAW is nature and according to the UK Mental Health Foundation, during the long months of the pandemic, millions of people turned to nature.
Nature is key to psychological and emotional wellbeing and it is difficult to achieve positive mental health without a greater connection to the natural world.
The foundation’s research on the mental health impacts of the pandemic showed going for walks outside was one of the top coping strategies and 45% of people reported being in green spaces had been vital for their mental health.
Websites which showed footage from webcams of wildlife saw hits increase by over 2,000%.
Wider studies also found that during lockdowns, people not only spent more time in nature but were noticing it more.
Isle Listen’s Andrea Chambers commented: ’While there is a growing awareness of the importance of positive mental health and wellbeing on the island, there are still many issues in identifying those who require support.
’The work we do to provide education, prevention and early intervention aims to alleviate pressure on the statutory health services and to avoid the unnecessary escalation of mental health problems which can make recovery more difficult the longer they are undiagnosed.’
She added: ’We could not continue to do what we do without the amazing support of our Island community and I’m delighted that so many local organisations want to show their support of our work and the importance of mental health by illuminating their buildings green.’