What Do Men Think?
We’ve never been more aware of the benefits of nature for our health and wellbeing, particularly following our experiences over the COVID pandemic.
Over the past five years, RSPB has been developing ‘Nature Prescriptions’, working with GPs and other health professionals to embed the value of nature to health across primary care.
Nature Prescriptions are designed to support healthcare professionals to formally prescribe connecting with nature so their patients can harness the benefits of nature for physical and mental health and wellbeing. A Nature Prescription can be offered as part of a treatment plan for patients or given to someone for whom the GP assesses would benefit from this natural, non-clinical intervention.
The prescription is supported by a leaflet and a calendar of local, seasonal activities. All are designed to help foster a deeper and meaningful connection with nature and all can be undertaken individually as part of a person’s everyday life.
Nature Prescriptions began as a partnership between RSPB Scotland and NHS Shetland in 2017 and expanded a year later into Edinburgh. It was well-received by local GPs and patients and clearly benefited over 80% of patients who participated.
However, what the RSPB has found so far is that they are reaching far fewer men than women – and they want to understand why that is and what they can do to address this gender imbalance. They know that men don’t attend GPs as often as women do and so want to find out if there is another way to reach men to encourage them to make this nature connection. They also know that the language they may use around feelings and the approach of encouraging mindfulness may not feel as accessible to men and may be off-putting for some.
RSPB Scotland wants to hear from men across the country about how you feel about the health benefits of nature, and how you think they could reach more men with this important message. This will help develop the project to be more relevant, accessible and meaningful for men for whom being in nature could be an important tool in their toolbox for looking after their physical and mental health.
To be involved and/or to give your views, please get in touch with Frances Simpson, Nature and Wellbeing Manager, RSPB Scotland, on firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about this project go to www.rspb.org.uk/natureprescriptions.