From antidepressant effects of outdoor swimming, to the capacity of virtual sea-walks to reduce pain felt from dental surgery; the evidence is growing of the curative power of the sea. Valuing the ocean and the coast is also important for the future of humanity, and protecting it will benefit all of us.
But there are also downsides of living by the sea, that are less widely reported. Many people living in coastal communities report feeling forgotten and cut off next to their urban counterparts. Mental health services are hard to access and isolation and deprivation are rife. Cornwall has the third highest suicide rate in the UK and yet the longest coastline.
We urgently need to understand both the challenges and the benefits that living by the sea has in order to come up with solutions to build healthier communities by the sea. The REFLECT project aims to gather people’s experiences of living by the sea and its impact on their mental well-being in a variety of ways.
We want to interview people, have people submit stories, art, film, poetry and we will synthesise these sources of evidence and explore themes – contact: [email protected] if you are interested in being a contributor.
We would like people to use the Urban Mind app (download from App Store or Google Play) Click HERE for further info.
This is an anonymous record of the impact of nature, environment and social interaction and on your mental well being. If you do use it please email the ‘id number’ to us HERE with the title URBAN MIND ID so we can track that you are part of the REFLECT project but you can remain anonymous.
We’d love to hear what existing resources are out there, what you think would be of benefit to the North Cornwall community - please post any thoughts on the project on our online message board HERE