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22 October - 13 November
FoSS and ESRC logos

Unlocking Nature - film premiere

Premiere and story of the making of a participatory film about mental health and natural spaces

Nature landscape featuring trees, blue and green space and a footpath

What’s on offer?

The premiere of several short films exploring the benefits of nature and the outdoors for those with severe mental illness. This 90-minute event also includes a number of presentations about the making of the film and the research that helped inspire it plus a half-hour Q&A and opportunity to contribute your own reflections and ideas.


What’s it about?

There is increasing research into how spending time in nature or 'green' (ie filled with vegetation) and 'blue' (containing water) spaces can be beneficial to mental health. Our film has been created by a group of individuals who experience, or who care for someone with, severe mental illness that came together from across the Northern England. The project is a collaboration with a number of researchers at the University of York and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, plus a participatory film maker and was inspired by research undertaken in Northern Ireland. Participatory filmmaking is a method where members of the public work with a facilitator to explore an issue close to their lived experience and express this through storytelling using the medium of film.

In our films you will experience a number of individual journeys to and through natural spaces, exploring the characteristics that make them special plus different ways of engaging with them. You will also see the positive effects on mood and energy levels, and by extension health and wellbeing. Additionally the films consider what can motivate or help a person to get out into nature and what can hinder or put them off.

Who’s leading the event?

The event is chaired and introduced by Philip Kerrigan from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York with participatory filmmaker, Simona Manni.

The panel consists of the filmmakers themselves plus researchers and professionals from the University of York, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, Queen's University Belfast and Northern Health and Social Care Trust.

Open to

The event should appeal to anyone with an interest in mental health and/or enjoying the outdoors but might not suitable for younger children.


Event booking deadline

5pm on the day before the event