Mindful-In-Nature: mindfulness and mental health recovery in the outdoors - 8-week course

Mindful-In-Nature is a programme specifically designed to support mental health recovery, resilience and well-being for people aged 18+ living locally. It takes place at the Sharpham Trust, close to Totnes, twice a year running one day per week for 8 weeks. See the Schedule for the next dates.

Two highly experienced professional facilitators deliver the course creating a warm, safe and inclusive environment for around 15 participants.

Sessions will run from the Woodland Campsite, with an outdoor kitchen, and a covered hearth to sit around together. 

Transport is available from Torquay and Totnes for those who require it.

Please note that the course is not intended as an alternative to clinical treatment and we offer our courses as an aid to recovery. Read on to find out more.

Apply for the 8-week course

Before we accept you on the course, we'll ask you to fill in a form outlining your needs, giving us contact details and more.

Apply Now

Dates

The course is delivered on Tuesdays, from 10:30am - 3:30pm.

The next course runs from April 16 to June 4 2024.

MIN people walk in the woods

Is the course for me?

The course is for anyone who would like to proactively improve their mental health.

It doesn’t matter if you have never experienced any form of mindfulness or meditation before – you may even feel sceptical about that, or the idea of connecting with the natural world.

The course is very gentle and inclusive and has been positively benefiting participants for 5 years.

Mindfulness in Nature

This course is for you if you:

  • have recent or ongoing lived experience of mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety
  • are currently in a relatively stable period of mental well-being
  • are aged 18 or above
  • have an interest in spending 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
  • live locally (in South Devon) and be available for the course times and dates (in South Devon)
  • are not a previous participant of the course

Get in touch if you have questions

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the course coordinator who can help with any concerns.

This could be your turning point as it has been for so many others.

Email [email protected] to contact Toria Hare.

Hands in meditation

What you will gain:

  • 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
  • A community of others going through the same learning process
  • Invitations to future gathering days as an opportunity to return to the woodland

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.

How to Apply

To apply for the course, please click Apply Now 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 Mindful-In-Nature Co-ordinator to discuss your application to ensure we can best accommodate your needs. Your place is not confirmed until you have spoken with our Mindful-In-Nature Co-ordinator.

We recommend that those applying to attend the full 8 week course also book to attend the taster that takes place before the next course, if you haven’t previously been to a taster. The booking link will allow you to choose either or both.

If you are unsure about the 8-week course, then come along to our half-day Mindful-in-Nature taster to see if the course is for you.

Apply Now

Half-day taster session

If you'd like to experience some of what will take place on the 8-week course, consider reserving a place on our Half-Day Introduction Taster session.

You'll experience Sharpham and meet the leaders and other potential participants and you'll get the chance to try some of the nature-mindfulness practices too.

Learn more

Level of commitment

We ask that you contemplate whether it is the right time for you to commit to the 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 twice yearly for the life of this project.

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 sessions for the full day 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 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.

MIN hand round mug

Costs

The full cost of this course is £275 per person including all resources. Thanks to generous support from the National Lottery Community Fund, there are funded bursary places available for people experiencing financial hardship. There is additional funding for transport locally.

When booking is open for the next course, you will be able to apply for your place by clicking the Apply Now button on 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 you need to discuss this or any aspect of the course, please contact our Mindful-In-Nature Co-ordinator on [email protected]

Once we have received your application the coordinator will be in touch to arrange a call and to chat further about the course details so you can decide together if it is the right option for you at this time. Please note places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.