The Hike Society by Columbia: walk and talk towards mental health
The Hike Society by Columbia, an outdoor community created to connect and support young hikers has recently committed to a project to help support the mental health of young people in the UK by providing vital mental health first aid training to outdoor community leaders.
More than 20 leaders from young outdoor communities with different backgrounds are being introduced and learning to put together the power of community, nature and mental health, in partnership with The Hike Society’s Annual General Hike 2023, a hiking event that involved over 500 members of the outdoor community across the United Kingdom over the weekend of April 29-30.
When it comes to mental health, people often feel more comfortable talking about certain topics when in nature, doing something they like. This is why hiking groups are being empowered with the tools and confidence to address mental illness within their communities, encourage early intervention, and raise awareness about mental health. “Walk and talk” sessions will be held to facilitate conversation and sharing of experiences related to the issue in a supportive environment.
In recent years the UK has experienced a worsening mental health crisis which was only excerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Hike Society aims to do its part to reverse this trend by connecting people to nature. According to studies, those who feel a stronger connection to nature report higher levels of happiness in life and are more likely to describe theirs as full of meaning and value.
“Through the power of community and the benefits of the natural environment, we aim to facilitate conversations about mental health. We hope that the mental health ‘first aid’ course and the Annual General Hike walk and talk will lead to many positive outcomes that communities will benefit from.” said Eoin Treacy, marketing manager at Columbia.
Over 500 outdoor enthusiasts joined the Annual General Hike walking through hills, forests and coastlines. More events will take place throughout the year as part of The Hike Society by Columbia. Tickets are free and can be purchased through The Hike Society Hub.
Further information and tickets here