Emma Mitchell is an author, mental health advocate, naturalist, illustrator and designer-maker. She studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge, spent time in academia studying molecular cell biology and was an technology consultant in emerging technologies in Silicon Fen until 2008, when her struggles with depression and anxiety led her to begin writing about the positive impact of both nature and time spent creatively on mental health.
Emma has written and presented films for BBC Springwatch and appeared on BBC Countryfile, Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and Ramblings. She is a Guardian Country Diarist and has contributed pieces on nature and mental health for the Times, Big Issue, inews & Psychologies magazine.
Emma has been teaching creative workshops with a focus on mental health for more than a decade. She taught Anita Rani to cast yarrow in silver on BBC Countryfile and has taught classes at the Victoria & Albert museum, Cambridge University Botanic Gardens and Highgrove.
In Emma’s classes students learn the techniques needed to make and draw beautiful things, but crucially she combines this with teaching the science that explains why and how spending time creatively can shift brain biochemistry to improve mental health.
Until now all Emma’s workshops have been face to face, but as the pandemic continues she has developed two online courses:
The first course to be released will be focussed on casting nature finds to make intricate silver jewellery and how this process can lift your mood and alleviate anxiety. This is Emma’s sell-out workshop as featured on BBC Countryfile. You can enrol on Emma’s December silver workshop HERE (very limited spaces).
Emma’s second course will teach you how and why combining contact with nature and creativity can alter brain biochemistry and improve mental health so effectively and will include gathering nature finds, pressing plants, botanical illustration and workshops.
Enrolment opening soon…
All pieces shown were made by beginners in Emma’s workshops
Emma’s first book, Making Winter, a creative survival guide to the colder months, was published in 2017. Robert Macfarlane, one of Britain’s best known nature writers says it is ‘gentle, beautiful, skilled and creative‘ and the Sunday Times said: ‘…Emma has found a way to alleviate seasonal affective disorder with crafts and creativity.’
In her second book, The Wild Remedy, how nature mends us, Emma combines a detailed self- illustrated diary of her nature walks with scientific explanations for the impact they have on her mental health. The Wild Remedy was featured on BBC Spring- & Autumnwatch 2020, is a Sunday Times bestseller, the Guardian describes it as ‘excellent’ and Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun and winner of the Wainwright prize calls it ‘…precise, gorgeous and inspiring‘.
The Wild Remedy will be out in paperback in December 2021.