Authors: Jule Hildmann (PhD) & Simon White
Mental health problems are an increasing global issue and their burden on the individ-ual and society has significantly risen in recent years through universal stressors like the climate crisis and the Covid-19 pandemic. In their early phases, the most common mental health issues like anxiety, depression and substance abuse are amenable to prevention through the promotion of mental wellbeing and resilience. Early interven-tion can reduce the risk of more severe and complex mental disorders.
This paper argues that well facilitated and empowerment-oriented outdoor learning programmes can successfully promote key skills and attributes associated with resili-ence and mental health and wellbeing, and can thus make a substantial contribution towards a non-medical early prevention strategy to avoid and reduce mental ill health. Empirical data from the European outdoor learning project ‘From Outdoors to Labour Market’ supports these hypotheses.