The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Mental Health kicked off Mental Health Awareness month by pairing up to create a new initiative called “Thrive Outside.”
During this month, and as the weather gets warmer, the organizations hope to get more people outside and exploring the beauty of Ohio.
Research done by the Ohio Department of Mental Health has shown that just 15 minutes outside can build your immune system, lower blood pressure and decrease your risk of diabetes.
Lori Criss, the director of Ohio MHAS, believes that everyone can invest more time in their mental health. “Mental health is always important and I think that most of us don’t make it a priority, we make it a luxury. So this Thrive Outside partnership and launching during Mental Health Awareness Month is a great way to remind us that this should be something we prioritize for ourselves,” Criss said.
“Our mission is to connect people with nature and the outside and what a great opportunity to highlight it with this month and this program” said Mary Mertz, the director of ODNR. With thousands of miles of trails across the state, our Ohio parks and trails are a great way to get mentally and physically “fit.” You can find the closest trail near you by using the new “Detour” trail app. Click here to find more information on the app.
If you find yourself needing a bit more support, you can always reach out to the Ohio Department of Mental Health CareLine 24/7 at 1-800-720-9616.