Wild Minds

What is Wild Minds?

Wild Minds is a group-based intervention project focussing on physical activity in an outdoor setting for young people experiencing mild to moderate mental health problems. It has been developed by South Cambridgeshire District Council together with Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust. It aims to provide a supportive and therapeutic environment for young people to engage in structured and group-based outdoor physical activities.

Sessions are run by skilled instructors and youth workers who have experience of working with young people who have mental health difficulties. The project is supported by a Clinical Psychologist.

Wild Minds takes place at Milton Country Park where young people attend six weekly two-hour sessions. The sessions place particular emphasis on young people being in contact with nature and the outdoors, whilst trying out a variety of activities, including Bush Craft and survival skills, Paddle Boarding and Yoga.

Aims of Wild Minds

The project aims to prevent deterioration in the mental health of young people at risk of further mental health problems. It aims to improve mental health through outdoor activities and building confidence and connections with peers in a therapeutic environment. Wild Minds will be evaluated and young people’s contributions and feedback will shape further development of the project

Target population

Wild Minds aims to support young people who are seeking help for mild to moderate mental health difficulties, but for whom do not reach the threshold of severity to be referred to an NHS mental health service

What are the criteria for joining the Wild Minds Group?

  • Young people aged 14-17
  • Currently experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties (for example, anxiety, low mood, problems with confidence or self-esteem)
  • Young people who have expressed interest or motivation in getting help for the above and who are open to attending a group with other young people
  • Young people who can manage being in a group and taking part in outdoor activities

How will sessions be held? 

Under guidance from the government, stating that "support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. Support groups must not take place in a private home. Examples of support groups include those that provide support to, vulnerable young people, including to enable them to meet youth workers", we will be holding sessions in person at Milton Country Park.

When do the sessions start and for how long? 

Sessions start on the 14 of March 2021 for 8 weeks with Easter Sunday off. Sessions will be from 3:30pm -5pm. 


The group is not suitable for:

  • Young people who are already receiving a specialist mental health service, for example, from CAMHS
  • Young people who have high risk behaviours or active suicidal thinking or behaviour
  • Young people with a complex mix of different problems which may need prioritising first, for example, eating disorder, substance abuse difficulties
  • Young people where there are current safeguarding concerns that first need to be prioritised to support stability and safety

For any more information please contact leah.collis@scambs.gov.uk.

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