Stories Mental Health in a Digital Age Many young people spend more time in front of screens than they do outdoors. Omar highlights the negative impacts that the constant stream of information has on our mental health, against the contrasting effects of spending time in nature. I recognise that nature - whether it’s being in it or just watching it from my window – has a calming effect on me. Mental health issues are rising from the fast-paced speed and almost permanent connection that has become the norm in recent modern life. It’s an issue to me as it is something that I personally have experienced. It’s only in the past 10 years that this has become normal. People of my generation (75% of adults with mental illnesses have experienced their first symptoms by the age of 24) and those who are younger are experiencing higher levels of mental illnesses (10% of 5-16 year olds experience mental health issues). There is research showing that increased interaction with nature benefits people’s mental and physical wellbeing. I recognise that nature - whether it’s being in it or just watching it from my window – has a calming effect on me. This piece was created by Omar Abu-Seer on the Keeping It Wild Traineeship with London Wildlife Trust. The traineeship is one strand of the Keeping It Wild Project. This project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and this particular activity strand was supported by Tallow Chandlers.