BMC/BMMS Hill Walking and Mental Health Day 2022

Posted by Mariella Sullivan on 19/04/2022

In mountain medicine we spend a lot of time talking about the many injuries and illnesses that take place in the hills. Sometimes this happens so much that we lose sight of the good they can do too! So here's an idea...

The BMC/BMMS Hill Walking and Mental Health Day will take place in Hathersage on Monday 13th June 2022

In recent years, much has been written about “Green Care” and the role that our natural surroundings play in treating a range of different health conditions. The BMC/BMMS Hill Walking and Mental Health Day is aimed at anyone who's keen to find out more about how one of our most popular forms of exercise can help those with mental health issues. Through a series of short talks, workshops and a walk in the Peak District we’ll hear about what's taking place in the UK today. If all that wasn't enough, we’ll be joined by author and mental health campaigner Jake Tyler who'll describe how walking more than 3000 miles around the UK lifted him out of a life-threatening episode of depression. As well as Paul Besley, volunteer ranger for the Peak District National Park, member of Woodhead Mountain Rescue and author of 1001 Walking Tips, his fantastic new book designed to ‘help you move from the garden to the mountaintop.’

The day will be made up of four sessions. The first consists of a series of short talks that will provide an introduction to mental illness and the treatments that we currently have available (Tony Page), the principles behind successful “Green Care” strategies (Wendy Masterton) and how time in the hills can play a part in treating mental illness (Kaye Richards). After a break, we'll turn our attention to what's going on in our hills. We'll hear about helping people with dementia (Helen Milton), the running of the incredibly successful charities Black Dog Outdoors (Andy Higson) and Mind Over Mountains (Emma Holland), the benefits of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) in the hills (Lee Anna Simmons) and how walking is being used by GPs to treat a host of medical conditions (Graeme Hill).

In the third session we’ll be heading outside! In small groups, led by a qualified guide and members of the faculty, you’ll explore a part of the Peak District and have a chance to talk about your own experiences in the hills. Whatever your background, whether you’re an expert guide or first timer in the hills, we’ll match you up with something that you’ll find stimulating. Once we’re back indoors, our final session will consist of a series of short workshops. We’ll not only be taking a look at how to plan a walk that matches the needs of a group, but also find ways to deal with the many issues that can arise once you're out on the hill. Amongst the many highlights will be Paul Besley - author of recently published 1001 Walking Tips - who'll be sharing a lifetime of outdoor experience. Expect lots of anecdotes and importantly, plenty of practical suggestions that can help you get more out of your own hill walking!

To round off a brilliant day, Jake Tyler will talk about his inspiring new book "A Walk From The Wild Edge". All those attending with receive a copy of Jake's book to take home!

So whether you’re a health care worker, an outdoor professional or simply an enthusiastic hill walker, you’ll find our "Hill Walking and Mental Health Day" has something for you!

“Hill Walking and Mental Health Day” will take place in Hathersage on Monday 13th June 2022.

The event will begin at 0900 and finish at approximately 1700.

The cost of the day is £65 (non BMMS members) and £45 (BMMS members). This will include a packed lunch, plenty of snacks and drinks throughout the day PLUS a copy of Jake's book.

Bookings can be made here.

A small number of FREE places will be available to those who are unable to afford the cost of the day. Details will be announced shortly. 

A certificate of attendance will be provided to all those who take part. CPD approval is provided by British Mountain Guides, Mountain Training Association and British Association of International Mountain Leaders.

The event is a collaboration between the British Mountain Medicine Society (BMMS), British Mountaineering Council (BMC), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Pure Outdoor.

Thanks to the Alpkit Foundation for their generous support.

Reviews of "A Walk From The Wild Edge" by Tony Page and Emma Holland can be found on our blog.

Read about the psychological benefits of the British hills here.

The principles behind Green Care are nothing new! Read about the fascinating work of Ethel Haythornthwaite.

This is our first face-to-face event since the Covid pandemic. Feedback from our previous Science Day can be found here.

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