Talking about mental health and emotional issues isn’t always easy, but it is a conversation that can save lives.
September 13 will mark R U OK? Day, the national day of action dedicated to reminding Australians to ask one another whether they are ok and support those who are struggling.
Mental health and emotions can be impacted by many factors, and research from Caravan Industry Association of Australia has found caravan and camping trips can be beneficial for health and wellbeing.
The Real Richness Report found campers are competitively happier, more satisfied, optimistic and energised than non-campers.
Not only do trips make campers happier, they also give people an opportunity to connect with themselves and their feelings, with 53% of women and 44% of men strongly agreeing that camping trips enabled them to gather their thoughts.
Respondents’ answers also revealed 96% of campers believe that camping can make you happier and 95% of campers believe that camping reduces stress.
Alistair Mitchell was introduced to caravan and camping from an early age, and mental health is a topic close to his heart.
After previously working in the caravan and camping industry as a park manager and in corporate management, he is now a mental health advocate and health and wellness coach. Alistair found his way to this career by the toughest path- following a series of challenging circumstances, he fell into an expensive drug addiction and faced his own mental health battle. He is now passionate about helping others to overcome similar circumstances.
“Being outdoors and camping allows you to remove yourself from the stresses of your career… camping allows us to break away from the chaos of life and enjoy the simplicity of nature,” he said.
“Spending time away from daily life and everyday pressures, and being able to reconnect as a family on the road is fantastic- physically being outside connects us more, and relaxes us. People forget, the most basic things are the most important sometimes.”
“Although many campsites offer wifi, it is important to allow yourself time away from technology and connectedness… the decrease in constant simulation of technology will encourage a greater psychological and emotional health.”
“With anything to do with mental health, open dialogue and communication is key to wellbeing, and in the past mental health hasn’t really been an open discussion.”