Edinburgh University research reveals girl guides are less likely to suffer from anxiety

A study by the university found those who had belonged to organisations like Girlguiding, tended to have better mental health at age 50, and were around 15 per cent less likely to suffer from anxiety or mood disorders, compared with others.

By Shona Elliott
Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:30 pm

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The findings noted the activities in Guiding - which frequently involve being outdoors – help children develop skills such as self-reliance and teamwork, and encourage being active outdoors, may have lifelong benefits.

In light of this evidence Girlguiding Scotland has launched a new challenge, Out and About – Wee Beasties, to encourage girls and young women to get out into nature and learn more about the insects and their environment.

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Abigail Gillies, nine, from the Isle of Harris said she loves being outdoors.

Girlguiding new challenge launched ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) which focuses on the benefits of nature for our mental health.

The pack includes activities such as going on a ‘wee beastie hunt’ to discover different insects and learn more about their lifecycle and their habitats.

It features an ‘action’ section encouraging girls to create spaces and environments for insects to thrive in.

Challenge participants counted how many different types of insects they could find, documented their findings and even planted wildflower seeds to help wildlife habitats.

Ten-year-old Rowan Reida from the Isle of Harris has been taking part in the challenge this week and said beasties are amazing.

Ten-year-old Rowan Reida has been taking part in the challenge this week.

She said: "Being outside makes me feel happy, healthy and I enjoy it. Beasties are amazing, my favourite beastie is a caterpillar because they're cute and fluffy"

Fellow girl guide Abigail Gillies, nine, said: “I loved being out and about in the fresh air and meeting up with my friends from Brownies makes me feel really happy.

“We like to explore different parts of our village together and discover new things all the time. I really like the spring when all the flowers begin to appear.”

As a key provider of outdoor education Girlguiding Scotland has seen first-hand the positive impact getting outdoors and engaging with nature can have on young people’s mental health.

The charity prides itself in supporting its members mental health and wellbeing through their unique programme which includes badges on Healthy Mind, Meditation, Self-Care and Mindfulness.

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