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Blue Spaces: research presentations from Exeter University

Sun 12 May 2024





4:30pm- 5:30pm

Blue Spaces: research presentations from Exeter University

What does blue do for you?

Time spent near blue space, such as rivers, lakes and coastal areas, has been found to be associated with better wellbeing in the general population. Some research has looked specifically at the benefits of blue space for people with mental health conditions however little exploration has focussed on the experiences of people with so-called severe mental health difficulties such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or schizophrenia. Knowing more about this could provide useful information to people with these conditions, and could also help mental health and public health services to design ways of connecting people with blue space that feel therapeutic.

A team at the University of Exeter have developed a research project exploring how people with experience of bipolar disorder and/or psychosis interacted with blue space, and if those interactions influenced their mental health or wellbeing.

Kim Wright, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Exeter, presents her findings.

Find out more about the project here:

Surfing as Therapy

Surfing as therapy has emerged in the last 20-30 years. First prominent in the 1990’s in California USA, the practice has now spread to the UK. Some research has looked at surf therapy for mental health and wellbeing. The main areas of interest are youth and military veterans in the UK, USA, Portugal, Australia. There is little research looking at surfing therapy for emergency responders AKA first responders, emergency services workers, blue light services

Exeter university are collaborating with an organisation providing surf therapy for emergency service workers. Knowing more about surf therapy as a treatment option for mental health and wellbeing could open doors for roll-out of surf therapy to other groups of people beyond emergency responders or use of other sports and therapy.

Nick Knowles, PhD student leading the project presents their plans for research. Nick’s presentation follows on from his supervisors’ presentation (Professor Kim Wright).

This event is part of Bloom Festival
Bloom Festival is a day of free activities to promote good mental health and wellbeing. Bloom is here to encourage and enable discussion, raise awareness of local support services and to utilise creativity as a tool for self-expression.

Full Programme

With thanks to our sponsors


How to join in:

  1. Click Book Now to let us know you’re coming
  2. 2. Swap your digital ticket for a wristband to access activity on the day
  3. Just drop in!*
*Please note, capacity is limited.



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