How autumn can be seriously good for your health…


Somerset Levels in autumn

We came a little late to this research, but as meteorological  autumn begins, and the nights start drawing in, we thought it was a good time to cast off any gloom at the imminent end of the British summer and highlight how wonderful autumn is, and how good it can be for your health.

In 2014 The National Trust undertook some research that showed how a walk in the colours of autumn can lift the mood, even as the health giving properties of the light fade.

The National Trust found that more than eight out of 10 (84%) people felt that bright autumn walks made them feel happier, healthier and calmer. About 70% of those surveyed felt a lowering of their mood as the days shorten but almost 50% admitted that they did not get out in the fresh air often enough

It is not just a matter of filling your lungs, however. Colour psychologist Angela Wright is quoted as saying:

“Natural colour schemes can inspire us and lift our spirits. Autumn, combined with the rich light at this time of year, is a flamboyant blaze of intense colours with each affecting us in a different way……Fresh air, exercise and the sense of getting away from it all play a positive role in improving our well-being. However it’s the colours that we experience which are the most powerful tonic to affecting our mood.”

Autumn is a time for reflection and taking stock and for many seems melancholy, heralding endings. Children dread the end of summer holidays and head back to a new school year and parents have to get used to packing young adults off to University. But it is also a time of great bounty as many enjoy a harvest festival and the hedgerows fill with nuts and berries, stored by wildlife to see them over the coming winter.


Great Wood

The Trust drew  up  a list of some of the best places to experience the full range of autumn colours- those delicious reds and oranges through to exotic purples and deep evergreens. None of the suggestions, from Snowdonia to Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire are close to Somerset, so we were curious to know whether there is a favourite local walk you like to take as the leaves turn. We are, after all, in a county with a wide variety of landscapes. One of our favourites is the Red Walk Trail in the Great Wood at Ramscombe in the Quantock Hills, where ancient oak jostle with spruce and fir and you can, if you are lucky, spot the occasional deer….

So on those beautiful, misty mornings over the Somerset Levels or on a cool, sunny Sunday afternoon, where do you head to kick over the traces and breathe in that distinctive musty autumn smell?

The emotional impact of a road traffic incident…

This post has been written by Rosemary Pell, one of our colleagues at RUSS – the Road User Support Service – a unique organisation based in the South West, offering complete rehabilitation assistance to help deal with the emotional problems and trauma as a result of a road traffic incident. For more information, do contact us here at The Terrace and we will be happy to give you more information.

Staff at Road User Support Service

Staff at Road User Support Service

This is my first post and I admit to feeling a little apprehensive!  However, my irrational fear pales into insignificance when I consider the symptoms experienced by some of my clients after they have been involved in or affected by a road traffic incident (RTI).

My main business (RUSS – Road User Support Service) professionally supports people who are finding it hard to come to terms with the aftermath of a collision, whether they are drivers, passengers, cyclists, pedestrians, witnesses or family members.  The treatment available is irrespective of the severity of the incident or of blame.  It maybe the incident was a horrific life changing event or a considered to be just a minor bump.  However, each client’s experience is unique to them and is treated with the upmost respect and care.

It was owing to my personal experience of two head on car crashes, in addition to training in trauma therapy, that has brought me to this work which I have felt privileged to be involved in and enjoyed for 17 years.

You may know someone who is suffering after a road incident who may have one or all of the following symptoms, and may have some others to add to the list:

–  Flashbacks and/or intrusive thoughts

–  Sleep disturbance

–   Impaired concentration

–   Lethargy

–   Mood swings, anger, irritability

–   Social withdrawal

–   Reduced work performance

–   Avoidance of driving, being a passenger – maybe preferring to walk or use public transport

–   Generally anxious and fearful

All of the above are normal reactions.  Some symptoms will settle down with the passage of time, others may need professional intervention.

Coping strategies, information and advice is available free on the RUSS website RUSS also has a Team of appropriately qualified counsellors to assist clients in coming to terms with the incident, one of whom, Annie Rivers, works at The Terrace in Taunton. In addition we also have empathic Approved Driving Instructors who help drivers regain their confidence and lessen anxiety when they are behind the wheel.

Next time I will write about victims, survivors and thrivers and give you a very interesting case study!

Thanks for reading my 1st Blog.  I hope you have found it interesting and helpful.

Rosemary Pell, Manager RUSS.

Legal Aid – still available for Family Mediation

Family Mediator - Jane Churchill

Family Mediator – Jane Churchill

There has been lots of publicity about changes to the Legal Aid system, but  legal aid is still available for family mediation from Ministry of Justice approved organisations. South West Mediation is an approved organisation, and are the largest provider of family mediation in the West Country. At your first meeting the mediator can assess your eligibility for legal aid.

Mediation helps separating or separated couples with practical issues that need resolving before individuals can move on. These matters include where everyone is going to live, ongoing parenting arrangements, and sorting finances, including pensions and maintenance.

If you are going through separation or divorce and have unresolved practical issues, why not fix an individual meeting with one of South West Mediation’s expert mediators and work out your options? The mediator will assess your eligibility for legal aid on the spot and, if eligible, the mediation is totally free as is some limited legal advice alongside the mediation.

Mediator John Loram

Family Mediator John Loram

Even if you are not eligible for legal aid, many find that mediation is cheaper, quicker and less stressful than going to court.

Ring us for more information or fix a meeting on 01823 338968. Email us or visit our website