MENTAL WELLNESS INITIATIVE
Within the past few years, mental wellness has become a primary focus in wellness programs and initiatives due to unprecedented levels of depression, anxiety, stress, sleep issues and more. GWI’s 2023 Mental Wellness Initiative trends explore new aspects of mental wellness from research to engagement.
TREND 1: The sensorial comes to life
There is a new understanding of the importance of the non-visual, multi-sensorial elements that surround us—and their layering—in health and wellness spaces (scent, auditory, haptic). These elements support an environment that promote a resourceful state and alleviate negative stress responses while supporting positive stress responses. One example is the array of multi-sensorial experiences in nature.
TREND 2: Nature as the ultimate fitness venue
There is a deepening of the understanding of nature and the brain. Specifically, brain functioning is more optimal when exercise is done in nature as compared to indoors.
Trend 3: Everyone needs to be engaged in youth mental wellness
There is also a proliferation of mental wellness programs for youth as a means to combat the continuing mental health crisis of youth worldwide. A key example is the creation of an online museum, part of a new and ground-breaking £2.61m research project known as ORIGIN, hosted by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust The project, led by researchers from Oxford University and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research, links cultural experiences as a path to mental wellness.
TREND 4: The power of collective healing
Many nations across the world are coming to terms with pasts that condoned and even promoted systemic slavery, racism and inhuman treatment of their native and underrepresented populations. Healing from collective historical trauma is something that societies are recognizing and moving towards reconciling. Compassion and kindness are the seeds for a new generation and for the future of nations.