Outdoor Brand Partners with Mental Health America and Introduces NatureDose App Challenge to Encourage Time Outside

Key Takeaways:

  • L.L.Bean is on a mission to help people get outside for their mental wellbeing.
  • Each May for Mental Health Awareness Month, the outdoor retailer goes “off the grid” – clearing it’s Instagram grid, pausing posting on social media, and encouraging followers to join them in prioritizing time outside.
  • The initiative, now in its third year, will kick-off on May 1, 2024.
  • L.L.Bean will partner with Mental Health America and also host a “Be An Outsider” challenge on the NatureDose® app to help participants track their time spent outside.

FREEPORT, Maine, May 1, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In recognition of May’s Mental Health Awareness Month, outdoor retailer L.L.Bean is going “off the grid,” completely clearing its Instagram grid, pausing posting across all social media channels, and encouraging followers to join them in prioritizing time outside – whenever, wherever and however they can. The company will kick-off the annual initiative on May 1, inviting followers to break from scrolling and instead head outside as a proven way to nurture one’s mental wellbeing.

On par with diet, exercise and quality sleep, research shows spending time in nature has measurable mental health benefits, including greater creativity, lower stress, increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety. The company says its annual commitment to go “off the grid” in May is central to its longstanding company purpose.

“Prioritizing time outside isn’t just about embracing our company purpose; it’s about nurturing our individual wellbeing,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean Executive Chairman of the Board and great-grandson of founder Leon Leonwood Bean. “At L.L.Bean, we recognize the profound and tangible impact of time spent outside on our mental wellness, and we’re proud to partner with Mental Health America, which plays a key role in increasing outdoor access through research and wellness programs. And, new this year, our ‘Be An Outsider’ challenge on NatureDose will help people better understand their time outside and how it positively impacts their wellbeing. Our hope is more people can take a step back, assess their priorities and create new habits centered around spending a bit more time outside this month.”

Partnership with Mental Health America
L.L.Bean will continue its multi-year partnership with Mental Health America (MHA) to support and improve mental wellbeing by increasing access to outdoor programs. Since 2022, L.L.Bean has committed $500,000 to MHA, including 10 $20,000 mini-grants to its affiliates, enabling 8,045 hours of outdoor activities, including hiking, swimming, biking, horseback riding, forest bathing and more for program participants.

“Being outdoors, even if it’s just in the backyard or a city park or garden, helps improve mood, reduces stress, and supports our mental well-being,” said Schroeder Stribling, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mental Health America. “Mental Health Month is a great time to start connecting with nature and we are thrilled to team up with L.L.Bean to highlight the importance of spending time outdoors.”

“Be An Outsider” Challenge on NatureDose
To encourage time outdoors this May, L.L.Bean will also host a “Be An Outsider” challenge on NatureDose, an innovative app by NatureQuant® that serves as a “nature prescription,” helping users better understand their time spent outside. According to NatureQuant, there is an overwhelming body of scientific literature that links exposure to nature to improvements in physiological and psychological health. In addition to helping users track and monitor time spent outdoors, those who complete the app challenge will receive 15% off one full-price item from L.L.Bean.

Jared Hanley, Chief Executive Officer of NatureQuant, said of the NatureDose app: “While the health benefits of time in nature are generally accepted, and many doctors already prescribe time outside as a tool for wellness, there was no scalable or convenient way to measure or motivate nature exposure. A simple walk in the park can really decrease your stress and help you sleep better, but without a nudge, we were finding that many people spent days on end without ever going outside. The NatureDose app is designed to remind people to get outside. Time in nature is a powerful, safe, and low-cost health intervention we should all be utilizing.”

Mental Wellbeing at L.L.Bean
In addition to helping foster outdoor mental wellbeing for its customers and communities, L.L.Bean offers its 5,500 global employees a variety of programming centered around mental health. The company provides all employees with Outdoor Experience Days, paid days off that employees can use to spend time outdoors. Last year alone, L.L.Bean employees spent more than 78,000 hours participating in outdoor activities as part of the program. Moreover, L.L.Bean was recently awarded Mental Health America’s Platinum Bell Seal for Workplace Mental Health, a national certification program that recognizes employers committed to creating mentally healthy workplaces.

Visit L.L.Bean’s Instagram profile beginning May 1 to view expert resources, tools and tips for getting outside this Mental Health Awareness Month. To explore Mental Health America’s resources, visit mhanational.org/may. For more information on L.L.Bean’s partnership with Mental Health America, visit mhanational.org/llbean. For more information on the NatureDose app by NatureQuant, visit naturequant.com/naturedose.

About L.L.Bean, Inc.
L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. Still family owned, Shawn Gorman, great grandson of Leon Leonwood Bean, was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2013. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean continues to uphold the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. In 2023, L.L.Bean donated over $6 million to outdoor and community-enriching organizations focused on increasing access to and inclusivity in the outdoors. L.L.Bean operates 58 stores in 19 states across the United States, along with 25 stores in Japan and 13 stores in Canada, in partnership with Jaytex Group. The 220,000-sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

About Mental Health America
Mental Health America (MHA) is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. MHA’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; integrated care, services, and supports for those who need them; with recovery as the goal. Learn more at MHAnational.org.

About NatureQuant
NatureQuant is a technology and research company that provides a suite of tools to assess and promote exposure to nature. NatureQuant seeks to improve public health through the development of strategies and interventions for the use of such greenspaces through innovative technology. NatureQuant’s tools should encourage practitioners, policymakers, businesses, and individuals to consider how they can create, maintain, utilize, promote, and improve access to nature.

SOURCE L.L.Bean



Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/for-third-year-llbean-goes-off-the-grid-for-mental-health-awareness-month-stepping-away-from-social-media-and-into-the-outdoors-302132675.html
Some images courtesy of https://pixabay.com

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