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Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds


Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds sponsored by Belfast Harbour

Explore the wonders of our blue spaces and forge lasting connections with our wild waters through Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds!

Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds is an annual celebration, held in late summer, which showcases Northern Ireland's captivating blue spaces and highlights the mental health benefits of engaging with our coastal and inland waterways.

Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds is more than just a campaign; it's a movement that brings people together to enjoy and preserve the incredible blue spaces of Northern Ireland. Whether it's paddleboarding, practicing beach yoga, or participating in educational talks, this campaign invites everyone to dive in and experience the rejuvenating effects of water on mental well-being.


The Importance of Blue Spaces

According to a 2021 report by the Mental Health Foundation, 65% of adults in the UK reported improved mental health after spending time near water. Yet, the health of these precious waterways is increasingly threatened by pollution, particularly marine litter. Findings from Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful's 2021 Marine Litter Report are alarming, with 762 items of litter found per 100 meters of beach surveyed—81% of which contained plastic.


Get Involved

We all have a role to play in protecting the health of our rivers, loughs, canals, and beaches. By participating in Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds 2024, you can help turn the tide against marine litter and promote the mental and environmental well-being of our waterways. 

If you would like to host an event as part of the campaign, fill out the Expression of Interest form below:


Expression of Interest


The 2023 Campaign

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.


View the 2023 events


Acknowledgements

Thanks to funding from Belfast Harbour all Healthy Ocean Healthy Minds events were free of charge in 2023. Learn more about their work here.