The Natural Health Service

The Natural Health Service : What the Great Outdoors Can Do for Your Mind

4.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Brilliant' -- Matt Haig

In 2016, Isabel Hardman's mind, in her own words, 'stopped working' as she fell prey to severe depression and anxiety. She took time off on long-term sick leave and despite several relapses has returned to work with a much improved ability to cope. She has since become one of the UK's most prominent public voices on mental health.

She credits her better health to her passion for exercise, nature and the great outdoors - from horse-riding and botany to cold-water swimming and running. In The Natural Health Service, she draws on her own personal experience, interviews with mental illness sufferers and psychologists, and the latest research to examine what role wildlife and exercise can play in helping anyone cope with mental illness. Straight-talking, thoroughly-researched, and compassionate, this important and often funny book will fascinate anyone touched by a mental health condition, whether themselves or through the experiences of a loved-one.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 148 x 210 x 24mm | 567g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1 x 8pp col. plates
  • 1786495902
  • 9781786495907
  • 22,694

Table of contents

0: Madness and Orchidelirium 1: Why We Need Nature 2: Sowing the Seeds of Sanity 3: Obsessing About Nature 4: Walking the Black Dog 5: Racing Out of the Darkness 6: Cold Water That Warms the Soul 7: All Creatures Great and Sane 8: Does It Really Work? 9: The Natural Health Service: A Manifesto
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Review quote

Absorbing and life-affirming... Isabel's journey of discovery through her own mental illness contains lessons for us all. Simply a must read. * Rachel Cullen, author of Running For My Life * Extraordinary. I wish everyone with a mental illness, and all those supporting them, would read this book. I believe it could help to revolutionise the way we think about, and even treat, mental health issues. * Jonny Benjamin MBE * Brave and thoroughly researched. * Bella Mackie, author of Jog On * A really uplifting book. Amid the vivid depictions of depression and PTSD there is a joy in these pages as Isabel explains what the natural world has given to her, and can give to all of us. Hardman shows there is so much we can do to help ourselves just by looking at the world around us, exploring and enjoying its beauty, variety, life-giving, life-enhancing, mood-changing power. * Alastair Campbell * Hardman is a precise, lucid writer, never afraid to offer well-argued opinion but always careful to delineate it from factual reporting... The Natural Health Service is rich in interesting and unusual details. * The Critic * Robustly argued... Elation comes in many forms: an unexpected orchid in a Glasgow car park, a shy kingfisher by the Thames, and Penny Black, a headstrong pony in Wimbledon. * Kate Kellaway, Observer * A remarkable, fact-packed, warm and important book. If you're after an honest, no-bullshit, un-woowoo blueprint
about how to improve your mental health through engaging with the natural world, this is for you. * India Knight * A wise, compassionate, timely and beautifully written book. Isabel is formidably brave and open about her health struggles. * Andrew Marr * An impassioned case for integrating nature and outdoor exercise into mental health treatment. * New Statesman * Brilliant, clear-eyed and convincing. * Matt Haig *
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About Isabel Hardman

Isabel Hardman is a journalist, author, and broadcaster. She is Assistant Editor of the Spectator and presents Week in Westminster on BBC Radio 4. In 2015, she was named Journalist of the Year at the Political Studies Association's annual awards. She is the author of the bestseller Why We Get the Wrong Politicians which won at the 2018 Parliamentary Book Awards and was shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year. She is a prominent campaigner on mental health and lives in London.
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Rating details

6 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 33% (2)
4 50% (3)
3 17% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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