Against the backdrop of the beautiful Secret Garden in Dalkeith, Midlothian, the five newest course leaders, all staff of mental health charity Health in Mind, were presented their accreditation by representatives from Scottish Forestry.  

The newly certified leaders then went on to lead attendees, including representatives from Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership and NHS Lothian, in some outdoor activities, showing off their new skills. 

Today’s certification of Health in Mind staff marks the first time Scottish Forestry has partnered directly with mental health professionals, with all previous courses being delivered by outdoor organisations.  

Building on the existing Branching Out courses led by Instinctively Wild and Scottish Forestry, this certification is the beginning of a rollout of new Health in Mind Branching Out courses led by support staff, offering people receiving support with their mental health in Midlothian and the Borders the opportunity to build confidence, self-esteem, community and an engaged relationship with the natural environment.  

Branching Out. Positive Mental Health Through Nature

Health in Mind’s Senior Services Manager for the South, Kevin Kent, said: 

Ross Flemington, Green & Active Support and Development Worker for Midlothian at Health in Mind, who received his Branching Out certification today, said: 

Nathalie Moriarty, Branching Out Manager at Scottish Forestry, added: