Freeport, ME, April 25, 2022
In New Partnership, L.L.Bean and Mental Health America Prioritize the Power of Going Outside
Our founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, felt that being outside was more than a hobby — it was a practical way to gain perspective. “To my mind, hunting and fishing is the big lure that takes us into the great open spaces and teaches us to forget the mean and petty things of life,” he said.
L.L.Bean has been outfitting people to get outside for 110 years, helping to inspire and enable people to experience the restorative power of time outside. Though this purpose is important year-round, we hope to spotlight these efforts and their importance during Mental Health Awareness Month this May.
So, L.L.Bean is going off the grid and heading outside. Beginning May 2, we will pause posting across all social channels for the full month, and our Instagram will be wiped clean.
During this time, we'll be going off the grid and prioritizing time in the outdoors, leaving behind a few resources encouraging people to get outside, with tips and tools to prioritize self-care. We encourage our followers and friends to follow us outside — however, wherever and whenever they can.
As part of Mental Health Awareness Month, we are also proud to announce a $500,000 grant to and two-year partnership with Mental Health America. This partnership will help reach people through community-based outdoor mental health-focused programs, research and multimedia campaigns aimed at creating connection and inclusion in the outdoors and uncovering the well-being benefits of time spent outside.
“For more than a century, L.L.Bean has helped enable people to get outside, based on the belief that experiences in nature help bring out the best in us,” said Shawn Gorman, L.L.Bean Executive Chairman and great-grandson of L. L. “Now, research confirms what we have always felt intuitively: Going outside is critical for our individual and collective well-being. We are so enthusiastic to partner with Mental Health America to help more people experience the restorative power of the outdoors in their daily lives.”
According to Mental Health America’s President and Chief Executive Officer Schroeder Stribling, reprioritizing the outdoors is a simple, powerful act. “Even a simple walk outside can lower your risk of depression, strengthen cognitive function and increase focus. All of these effects improve our mental health and well-being at a time when we need it most,” Stribling said.
In fact, studies have shown significant benefits of spending time in nature, including greater creativity, lower levels of stress, increased self-esteem and reduced anxiety. Spending time in green spaces, such as a park or other natural environment, for as little as two hours per week, has been shown to have a significant positive impact on both physical health and psychological health.
“Our busy schedules can make it seem impossible to find a few minutes for the outdoors. The good news is that it does not take much to reap the benefits – ten minutes outside here and there will add up over time and lead to better mental health,” Stribling said.
For those who want to focus on their well-being, now is the perfect time to embrace the value of being in the outdoors, with spring offering us new opportunities to find the power and beauty of life around us. Whether you reengage with nature by having lunch outside, taking a walk around the neighborhood or hiking up a mountain, L.L.Bean invites everyone to take time to head into “the great open spaces” this May and beyond to see what nature can teach us all.
If you find you need support or mental health resources along your journey, explore Mental Health America’s resources at www.mhanational.org/may.
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 2021, L.L.Bean donated $6.2 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 24 stores in Japan and eight 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.