Healthy Ocean Healthy Minds is an annual, late-summer celebration of our blue spaces across Northern Ireland. The campaign promotes the mental health benefits of spending time in blue spaces and encourages taking care of our coastal and inland waterways. From paddleboarding and beach yoga, to educational talks, the campaign invites all to dive into our waterways and experience firsthand the mental health benefits that they have to offer.
A 2021 report, published by the Mental Health Foundation, found that 65% of adults in the UK felt a positive impact on their mental health from spending time by public waters. Despite this, the health of these waterways has never been more at risk due to marine litter. Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful's 2021 Marine Litter Report demonstrated that 762 items of litter were found per 100 metres of beach surveyed and that 81% of this contained plastic. We believe that everyone can help by showing more love to rivers, loughs, canals, and beaches.
If you are interested in organising an event as part of Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds 2024, get in touch.
Live Here Love Here delivered the 2023 Healthy Ocean Healthy Minds campaign from August 19th to September 17th. During this time, we encouraged all to take a break and recharge by participating in one of our waterscape events.
The 2023 campaign included 75 events across Northern Ireland, from sailing lessons, foraging sessions, beach-sound healing, paddleboarding, a sandcastle competition, scavenger hunts, bouldering, boat trips, and much more. The campaign concluded with 10 countrywide beach litter picks on the 16th and 17th of September as part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.
Thanks to funding from Belfast Harbour, all Healthy Ocean Healthy Minds events were free of charge in 2023. Learn more about their work here.