International Festival of Mental Health and Wellbeing at the RSA: The benefits of contact with nature - RSA

International Festival of Mental Health and Wellbeing at the RSA: The benefits of contact with nature


  • Picture of Monica Janowski FRSA
    Monica Janowski FRSA
    Social Anthropologist and Specialist in Research Communication
  • Fellowship
  • Fellowship in Action

On Monday 23 September, join the RSA Health, Care and Wellbeing Network for a series of short afternoon talks at Rawthmells Coffeehouse on the benefits of contact with nature.

This is part of the International Festival of Mental Health and Wellbeing (22-27 September). Speakers will cover topics relating to ecopsychology, ‘being’ in nature, pilgrimage through nature, and dreams. 

Taking place over the three cities, the International Festival of Mental Health and Wellbeing offers a wide range of workshops, lectures, panel discussions, meetups and more, covering a range of topics relating to mental healthThe festival aims to provide information about the healthcare system and to help to identify when professional support is needed and where to find the right care at the right time, with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention 

You’re welcome to join for one, some, or all of the talks, and stay on for the RSA Engage event on creating a sustainable future starting at 18.00. Please note that tickets must be booked separately for the RSA Engage event. 


Speaker agenda 

  • 15.00 (BST) Dr. Caroline Frizell: Ecopsychology: working towards health and wellbeing in a world in which all matter matters - Central to the idea of ecopsychology is the interdependence between human wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet. This brief introduction to ecopsychology will consider the human/more-than-human relationship in relation to psychotherapeutic practice both indoors and out. Caroline is a UKCP registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (DMP), supervisor and educator. She has published widely in the area of ecopsychology and DMP.  See: 
  • 15.30 Nuala Flynn: Dreamwork and the natural world - Dreaming is an underused natural re-source of healing and creativity for individual and social changeNuala is a psychotherapist and has a lifelong and professional interest in interest and in ecopsychology. 

  • 16.00 Dominic Lodge FRSA: Pilgrimage and contact with nature - Pilgrimage not only has a goal; it involves a journey through the natural world, which is central to the experience of a pilgrim. Dominic used to be a Catholic priest and now works in community development for the Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust. 

  • 16.30 Dr. Jacob KrzanowskiTowards a greater integration of green care in the NHS – lessons from the Green Walking Project - The Green Walking Project promotes and facilitate green-space walking groups for psychiatric inpatients. It is an initiative from the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare which seeks to promote holistic approaches to mental health-care through a greater use of green spaces. The presentation will consider why walking is an ideal activity to support these aims. Lessons from the project thus far will be explored to better understand some of the barriers to a greater adoption of green models of care in the NHS. Jacob is a psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust. Working alongside the Centre for Sustainable HealthCare and the Sustainability Committee of the Royal College of Psychiatry he has developed and implemented the Green Walking Project in NHS Mental Health Trusts across England.  

  • 17.00 (BST) Dr. Monica Janowski FRSABeing in the forest - Spending quality time with the forest – or indeed in any natural environment – is profoundly beneficial both physically and psychologically – and perhaps also spiritually. This is something which we have lost in our urbanized world – we have lost our sense of connection with the more-than-human worldMonica is a social anthropologist with 30 years of research experience among forest peoples in Borneo and is a guide in practicum with the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy.  

As part of the festival, Monica will also be hosting free 3-hour guided walk on Hampstead Heath using ANFT methods on 24 September and warmly welcomes anyone interested to join - additional details here.

If you have any access requirements or require any reasonable adjustments, please let the team know: [email protected]. Please also let us know if you have any dietary requirements or severe allergies.

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