Mindful-In-Nature: Mindfulness and Mental health recovery in the outdoors - 9 week course
Due to Covid-19 we are unsure if our course in January 2021 will be able to go ahead.
Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund, Mindful-In-Nature is a Sharpham programme specifically designed to support mental health recovery, resilience and well-being for people aged 18+ living locally, by offering a unique combination of mindfulness and nature connection.
Courses take place 3 times per year - September, January and March.
Sessions will run from the woodland campsite, with an outdoor kitchen, and a covered hearth to sit around together. There will be a cosy indoor space with central heating and a woodburner available when the weather is poor.
A free minibus service running from Torbay to Totnes and Sharpham will be provided by Bob the Bus (details will be sent to you once you have booked).
This course is for you if you identify with all of the below:
- Have lived experience of mental health difficulties or challenges such as depression or anxiety
- Are aged 18 or above
- Are new to mindfulness or would like to deepen your mindfulness practice
- Would like to spend some time outdoors in a beautiful location, surrounded by nature in a safe and supportive setting
- Are curious to learn how the practice of mindfulness and nature connection can support your overall sense of well-being
- Are willing to fully commit to the course
- Living locally (in South Devon)
What you will learn
- Mindfulness and nature connection practices and skills to help manage stress and enhance well-being
- How to build personal resilience and an increased ability to cope with difficult and stressful situations
- A set of skills to help you be steadier with whatever is happening, without resisting it or judging it as good or bad
- Self-compassion and being kinder to yourself
- How to apply mindfulness to your daily life after the course has been completed
Your physical and mental health
The Mindful-In-Nature course is not intended as an alternative to clinical treatment and we offer our courses as an aid to recovery, well-being and helping to prevent relapse. We recommend that participants are in a relatively stable period of mental well-being in order to get the most out of the course.
The course might not be suitable for you if you are currently experiencing a major depression or other diagnosed psychiatric illness such as psychosis or current self-harming.
Parts of the woodland are on uneven ground and the course will include some walking around the site. Please contact us if you have physical health or mobility difficulties to make sure we can best accommodate your needs.
To apply for the course, please click 'Book Here' below which will take you to a confidential form where we will ask you some detailed questions about your physical and mental health. You will then receive a call from our Programme Co-ordinator to discuss your application to ensure we can best accommodate your needs. Your booking is not confirmed until you have spoken with our Programme Co-ordinator.
If you are unsure about the 9-week course, then come along to our 1-day Mindful-in-Nature course to see if the course is for you.
Level of commitment
We ask that you contemplate whether it is the right time for you to commit to the 9-week course. It is important that all participants are committed to help with group safety and cohesion and for participants to get the most out of this valuable opportunity.
If now doesn’t feel like the right time for you, it isn’t the only opportunity. We will be running this project 3 times a year for the next 4 years.
Mindfulness is a practical skill and a habit, rather than a theory. Getting real lasting benefit requires the commitment of regular time and effort. It is similar to getting physically fit – you need to practice regularly to train your ‘mental muscle’.
To get the most from the course we recommend you commit to attend all 9 sessions and carry out the suggested home practice, which is a gentle but regular daily discipline of various meditation and nature awareness practices, with the help of guidance from a CD/audio files. As best you can, we recommend trying to set aside 30 minutes a day for home practice.
You will receive plenty of support for this, including how to fit it into your life. It may seem a stretch at first, but once the habit starts to be established, most people find it invaluable and highly beneficial.
Due to Covid-19 we are currently assessing whether this course can safely operate.
Mindful-in-Nature has definitely been one of the most meaningful, inspiring, life-changing experiences for me.
I’ve had a complete fundamental change in my being and how I interact with the world
I feel strong, excited and optimistic for the first time in my adult life
I came here feeling quite wary, but from the beginning you made it feel so safe. I was able to open up to myself and others for the first time
Costs and how to book
The full cost of this course is £275 per person including all resources, Minibus transport and lunch. Thanks to generous support from the National Lottery Community Fund, there are funded bursary places available for people experiencing financial hardship.
When booking is open for the next course, you will be able to apply for your place by clicking the red Book Here tab at the top of this page.
When you complete your application you will be asked to select from the following options:
- Low wage/ benefits = Full bursary
- Moderate income = Half bursary (£137.50)
- Higher income = No bursary (£275)
We ask that this is completed honestly and you pay what you can afford. If these amounts do not meet your personal circumstances then please contact our Programme Co-ordinator on [email protected] or phone on 01803 731802.
Please note places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
Brigit-Anna McNeill - retreat leader
Brigit-Anna trained in wilderness therapy, counselling and mentoring following her MA in Art Psychotherapy. She empowers others to feel safely held in a group setting, and her approach is strong, safe, transformational and loving. With a rare gift for getting to the heart of the matter and helping others find the deeper truth, Brigit-Anna's knowledge and passion for plants and the natural world is infectious, whether for food, medicine or spiritual ally. She loves to guide us in nature to see it as we have never seen it before; as the missing community we always craved.
Ollie Frame works as an integrative therapist, mindfulness teacher and retreat leader. Trained in Mindfulness-based approaches with the University of Exeter, he runs 8-week courses for the general public, for teachers and students in schools and colleges, and for various other client groups on behalf of Devon County Council. Having completed additional training in Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL), he is especially enthusiastic about self compassion, Metta meditation and other heart-based approaches within the world of mindfulness. Ollie also works as a Polarity therapist and an integrative counsellor, with a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology and inner journeying.