Two-thirds of the UK’s butterflies are in decline, while 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year.
Both are troubling statistics, but our work aims to tackle these problems by using the power of nature - and butterflies - to boost people’s mental health, and in return inspire these people to create a future where butterflies are protected.
Help those with mental health challenges better connect with both the natural world and each other by donating today.
Butterfly Conservation’s ‘Social Butterflies’ project aims to help alleviate poor mental health in south west England through interaction with and care for the natural world.
For those struggling with mental health, treatment is mostly medication rather than mitigation, but scientific research has shown that there are strong links between our mental well-being and our quality of nature connectedness.
With the growing concerns around the state of people’s mental health amid this pandemic, this project is now needed more than ever. In August a report released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that the rates of depression had almost doubled during the pandemic. While this project is designed to be delivered in person with social distancing, a contingency plan is also in place to ensure it can continue to be delivered online or remotely if required.
Please donate today to help bring positive outcomes for both people and wildlife.
Our previous project, All the Moor Butterflies, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, demonstrated that being out in nature learning about butterflies can help those who suffer with their mental health.
Opportunities to learn about and give back to butterflies through wildlife, gardening or conservation activity, including surveying and habitat management, can help give participants a sense of place and purpose.
Butterflies are also great as emblems of change and growth, and the metaphors drawn from their lifecycle can help people to understand and accept how they may also change over time.
Help us bring people and these beautiful insects together to produce positive outcomes for both.
- Develop key relationships with mental health trusts, community groups, and local delivery partners.
- Provide training sessions for health practitioners and community group leaders to give them the confidence to promote butterflies and conservation activity to their patients/clients.
- Develop and produce a pack of resources to support this training; equipping practitioners, group leaders and volunteers with all they need to deliver their own sessions.
- Work with our local Branch volunteers to increase understanding and awareness of mental wellbeing and the importance of nature connectedness.
Karen participated in our All the Moor Butterflies project and after connecting better with nature she was inspired to write a poem, Find the Best of You:
Sir David Attenborough, Butterfly Conservation President: “Spending time with nature offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life. It enables us to experience joy and wonder, to slow down and to appreciate the wildlife that lives side-by-side with us.”
This project has been part-funded by an award from Postcode Local Trust, a grantgiving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.