An extra £2 million of Big Lottery Fund (BIG) money has been made available to support ecotherapy projects across England. The mental health charity Mind has welcomed the announcement, which will bolster existing projects supported by Mind's Ecominds grants scheme Some 130 Ecomind projects have already been established around the UK since 2009 and work to deliver outdoor activities to people with mental health problems. Evaluation of the scheme has revealed that it yields clear social and economic impacts, with participants reporting improved physical and mental wellbeing. According to Mind, hundreds more have also gone on to take part in volunteering opportunities or training and paid work. The new funding is a welcome respite from the uncertainty of budget cuts, that may seriously hamper the provision of mental health services. Barry Watts, Ecominds grants manager, commented: "This additional burst of BIG funding presents Mind and Ecominds projects with an incredible opportunity to provide long-term support for those who need it most. "Ecotherapy has become a life-line for many, offering an alternative form of treatment." Studies have shown that getting back to nature has significant health benefits by improving quality of life. Read about support and personalised care at Barchester care homes for anyone with mental health concerns.