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13 May 2024

European Mental Health Week: tools for well-being and nature-connection

European Mental Health Week: tools for well-being and nature-connection

This week we take part in European Mental Health Week, a time to raise awareness for the importance of mental health in our daily lives. GoGreenRoutes in its collaboration with Mental Health Europe aims not just to raise awareness for mental health, but also to empower everyday people with tools to explore and improve their mental health outcomes with innovations such as the Virtual Reality Showcase, the GoGreenRoutes Mental Resilience app and the Nutritics app, among others. 

One additional strength of the GoGreenRoutes holistic approach to connect residents to nature is its work connecting people with nature through digital tools. In the Digital Placemaking Toolkit (Fernández de Ossó Fuentes, Keegan, MacIntyre, Jones, 2023) one can explore these concepts further. Digital Placemaking enhances human connection with urban nature environments through innovative digital interventions, for example by creating virtual installations in the streets showing images of forests.  

The GoGreenRoutes approach to digital placemaking understands there are four essential elements involved in this process:

  • Community engagement – a bottom-up process where the community is the key agent, proactive and involved in every stage.
  • Sense of place – is the objective that we aim to promote. Meaningful place attachment is created between the community and the place.
  • Inclusion – the diverse community must be represented and involved, making the experience accessible and inclusive to all. GoGreenRoutes ensures diverse representation through its Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Panel who have recently published a Gender, Inclusion and Diversity Framework. The Framework provides guidance on ensuring inclusion for events on nature-based solutions
  • Hybrid reality – technology is used to enhance the place experience, improving the interactions among the elements mentioned. Online (digital media technology) and offline (physical space) are combined in the hybrid reality.

All these many elements are part of a complex tapestry that can inform future policies to improve mental health outcomes. The GoGreenRoutes project in tandem with its sister projects is hosting a unique event to gather together to explore our collective impact in the field and to forge a future path towards meaningful policies for mental health Europe wide. 

Learn more about the final event on the 2nd of July.

Learn more about European Mental Health Week with Mental Health Europe.

Image by "Unsplash Emma Simpson", licensed under some rights reserved, for promotion