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Connecting Communities with Nature this World Suicide Prevention Day

Wednesday 8th September 2021

Local mental health charity, Norfolk and Waveney Mind and the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA), the charity behind Banham Zoo in Norfolk and Africa Alive in Waveney, have teamed up to connect communities with nature this World Suicide Prevention Day.

Every year, organisations and communities around the world come together to raise awareness of how we can create a world where fewer people die by suicide. The two charities have teamed up to mark World Suicide prevention day on 10th Sept and inspire more people to connect with nature, noticing the impact that this connection can have for mental wellbeing.

Claudia Roberts, Chief Executive Officer at the Zoological Society of East Anglia, said: “Connecting communities with nature to enhance wellbeing is one of our charity’s key commitments. Banham Zoo and Africa Alive also provide a unique opportunity for our communities to connect with each other in a relaxed environment, with plenty of green spaces to enjoy some mindfulness walks together.

That’s why we are delighted to be able to offer a special £5.00 entrance fee on September 10th at both zoos, so as many people as possible can enjoy time with friends and families. Even if you arrive alone, there will be the opportunity to meet new people by taking part in one of our “Walk and Talk” sessions.

Not only do ZSEA have a commitment to promoting wellbeing and reducing poor mental health, but we also want to tackle the stigma associated with reaching out for help. On the day, we’re pleased to have a presence from Norfolk and Waveney Mind who will be happy to provide the right support and resources.

Sonja Chilvers, Director of Operations at Norfolk and Waveney Mind, added: “The evidence is clear that access to nature is important for our mental health, something which lots of people discovered during the recent lockdowns. Both ZSEA and Norfolk and Waveney Mind are committed to raising awareness and reducing the stigma around mental health and are delighted to be working in collaboration this World Suicide Prevention Day. 

As Norfolk and Waveney’s largest mental health charity, we aim to educate local people on suicide prevention, dispel some of the common myths around suicide and encourage individuals to take action and check in on their friends, family members and colleagues.

“There are around 17 deaths per day by suicide – 1 every 75 minutes. In Norfolk alone 801 residents have died by suicide in the last 10 years. The incredible support and collaborative opportunities with organisations such as ZSEA enable us to connect communities in new ways, raise awareness and continue to be there for the people of Norfolk and Waveney.”

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