Mental Health Awareness Week: Bear Grylls calls for less screen time
In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week (May 15-21), TV presenter and adventurer Bear Grylls has urged teenagers and young people to limit their screen usage in an effort to combat depression and anxiety.
According to the mental health charity Mind, the number of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK experiencing depression or anxiety is on the rise, and 96 per cent of those polled said their mental health has impaired their academic performance.
Numerous negative impacts on physical, mental or psychological health have been linked to an increase in daily screen time, with continual exposure to gadgets like smartphones, computers and television being a major contributing factor.
The Bear Grylls Adventure in Birmingham has a no-phone rule in place when visitors are taking part in activities. Grylls, the attraction's spokesperson, intends for this rule to minimise young people's screen usage.
Grylls said: “Tackling mental health and raising awareness for issues such as anxiety and depression is important in today’s society. This challenge of building strong mental resilience is made harder for young people with ever increasing screen time. This has been proved to cause a decline in mental health.
“I have found taking part in simple tasks such as going for a walk or working out or taking on a new challenge with friends really helps my mental health. This is why our adventure centre in Birmingham is proving so popular with young people.”
Numerous thrilling experiences can be found at the site. Axe throwing, Europe's tallest high ropes course, and even a shark snorkelling experience allow visitors to conquer their fear of heights. They may also let off steam in the exhilarating iFly tunnel.
Guests are asked to put their phones away in a locker when they arrive at the site, according to the general manager at The Bear Grylls Adventure, Lee Phillips, who adds that this encourages “them to take on the challenges wholeheartedly, while interacting with staff, family and friends to give themselves a rest from looking down at their screens”.
Visit the NHS website for guidance if you are having mental health problems or call a mental health helpline.
Visit The Bear Grylls Adventure website to reserve a trip to The Bear Grylls Adventure and participate in the site's 11 activities.