Andrew Higson, Director, Blackdog Outdoors
Poor mental health is a growing concern in the UK. Statistics from the 2014 APMS (Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey) have highlighted that “every week, one in six adults will experience symptoms of a common mental health problem”. Startlingly, the survey also highlights that “one in five adults has considered taking their own life at some point”. It’s a fair assumption that, based on these facts, many people visiting this website will have been affected by mental health issues; either directly, or indirectly through family and friends.
The role of sport and recreation in improving mental health is now becoming increasingly clear. The effects of outdoor activities can include stress reduction, improved mood, improved self-esteem and improved health and general well-being. The real challenge lies in promoting the idea of “green exercise” to those that will benefit from it, providing opportunities for those people to take up outdoor activities, and to support and encourage them as they set out on their individual adventures. We have established Blackdog Outdoors to provide this service.
As a signatory of the Mental Health Charter we are actively encouraging people to take up outdoor activities and, to help people on their way, we organise recreational events for people to attend at no cost. Details of these events, which are managed by professionally qualified outdoor professionals and supported by mental health first aiders, can be found on the events page of this site. We’re also working closely with organisations such as the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training Association, and Mountaineering Scotland to help further promote mental health issues within their respective communities.
Our website provides a hub of information, confirmed events, and links to our social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We hope that our work introduces you to many fine adventures, helps you meet like minded people, and provides you with the opportunity to develop new skills and abilities. Most importantly, we hope that it helps you to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Good luck, and enjoy, from all of us at Blackdog Outdoors.