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#YourLocalMind Blog - The New Forest

For #YourLocalMind Week, iTalk IAPT Data Specialist Amy shared her experience of mental health living in the New Forest...

Moving to the New Forest in 2019 was a bit of a culture shock. As a London girl born and raised, I was used to busy tubes, crowds, and endless options for activities. I loved dancing, and enjoyed the freedom of easily travelling all around London to try various classes. Because of this I connected with different people, and this became really important for my mental health. 

The New Forest is beautiful and peaceful, but that quietness comes with its challenges. At the beginning, there were times honestly when I found it a little isolating. Especially as a non-driver, those things that I had come to rely on to boost my wellbeing were no longer as accessible, and travelling to meet friends became harder. I found myself shying away from putting myself out there.

I was encouraged to try out some local volunteering in the forest, and this opened up a whole new world for me. I fell in love with hiking and nature. During the pandemic, this expanse of green space became a lifeline, and I spent a lot of time walking in our local nature reserve. Which I felt very lucky to have! 

I have definitely now embraced life in the New Forest, I now even go sea swimming regularly, having joined a local group! I am so proud to call the New Forest my home. I have realised, with the help of others, how much there is to do, and how wellbeing can be found in many different forms.

If you are in the New Forest and in need of mental health support, check out the services available to you there: https://www.solentmind.org.uk/...

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