Joint partnership aims to generate 500,000 hours of outdoor activity this May
In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, outdoor retailer L.L.Bean has gone “off the grid” for a second consecutive year, pausing all social media channels to prioritize time outside and encouraging followers to join them. On May 1, the company wiped its social media profiles clean, leaving behind expert-informed resources, tips and tools to support people in getting outside for their own mental wellbeing – however, wherever and whenever they can.
To encourage participation, L.L.Bean has partnered with social fitness app Strava, inviting users to log their outdoor time in the app as part of the L.L.Bean Feel-Good Challenge, with a goal to spend a combined 500,000 hours outside during the month of May. Participation in the challenge will raise money for Mental Health America, with whom L.L.Bean has engaged in a two-year partnership focused on outdoor mental wellness research and programming.
Studies have shown spending time outdoors – whether in green spaces like parks or forests, blue spaces such as near lakes, rivers and coastlines, or even in urban environments – has significant mental health benefits, including greater creativity, lower levels of stress, increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety.
“My great-grandfather Leon Leonwood Bean believed that nature is the most powerful antidote to the stresses of life, a conviction confirmed by modern research,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean Executive Chairman. “Our priority at L.L.Bean is to support our customers on their outdoor journeys, outfitting them in quality gear and creating greater accessibility to outdoor activities. We’re honored to partner with Mental Health America and Strava to encourage as many people as possible to experience the restorative power of time spent outside.”
Mental Health America’s President and Chief Executive Officer Schroeder Stribling added that time outside is a simple act one can take to prioritize their own wellbeing. “Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can have tremendous benefits for our mental health, helping to reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and increase feelings of calmness and relaxation. Being in nature can also improve our cognitive function and creativity, serving as a grounding force among the stressors of our daily lives. Whether it is a walk outside or a visit to a local park, just a few minutes outside can make a meaningful impact and lead to improved mental health.”
Through its partnerships with Mental Health America and Strava, as well as ongoing research focused on the benefits of experiencing “awe” in the outdoors, L.L.Bean aims to further inspire and enable people to experience the restorative power of time outside and the proven mental wellness benefits it provides.
For additional information on Mental Health Month and 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 Inside L.L.Bean.
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 2022, L.L.Bean donated $5.5 million to outdoor and community-enriching organizations focused on increasing access to and inclusivity in the outdoors. L.L.Bean operates 56 stores in 19 states across the United States, along with 25 stores in Japan and 12 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, Twitter, 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.
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