Friday, 19 February 2016

"Green care" >>> >>> nature-based interventions for mental health care

More and more research - and more and more projects on the ground - prove the healing power of greenery:
Futures Forum: Nature, biodiversity and human health
Futures Forum: Resilience and Salutogenesis: "Environment, health and resilient cities: what constitutes salutogenic environments?"
Futures Forum: Tranquility garden at Sidmouth Victoria Hospital
Futures Forum: The green prescription: 'forget your tablets and get moving'

The latest research from Natural England considers these approaches:

The prevalence of mental ill-health is on the rise in the UK with an estimated one in four people experiencing a 'significant’ mental health problem in any one year. With the prescription of anti-depressants at record levels and a huge demand for Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other psychological therapies, health and social care commissioners are examining and commissioning different options for cost effective services for mental health. At the same time there is increasing recognition of the importance of nature and place as a determinant of individuals’ mental health. Nature-based interventions are operating throughout the UK, working with a wide range of vulnerable groups helping to positively benefit health and wellbeing outcomes.

These nature-based interventions (also called green care and ecotherapy) could be part of a new solution for mental health care. However increasing awareness and access to these interventions is challenging given the number of organisations delivering nature-based projects and services, the variety of terms and language used to describe their activity and benefits and the variation in delivery models which use different impact measures. This research seeks to explore these issues and set out the steps required to enable a greater number of nature-based interventions to be commissioned in mental health care.

A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care - NECR204

Work is being carried out with Exeter University:

Natural England has already commissioned Care Farming UK to identify practical models and case studies to increase the scale of green care services. Natural England and the University of Exeter are preparing a series of Health and Environment fact sheets to summarise the most compelling evidence on the impact of the natural environment on a range of health and wellbeing outcomes.

Connecting with nature offers a new approach to mental health care - News stories - GOV.UK

The government is very much behind this endeavour:

Green care provides "cost effective" plan for mental health, new research shows

16 February 2016, by Elizabeth Henry

Environment minister Rory Stewart has agreed there is "clear scientific evidence" that nature is beneficial to mental health following the publication of a new study by Natural England.

Wellbeing: Time in nature good for mental health. Image: Pixabay

The report reviews the benefits and outcomes of approaches to green care for mental ill-health. With mental ill-health on the rise, and estimates showing in England at least one in four people will experience a "significant" mental health problem every year, the report holds up green care interventions as a cost-effective way of supporting mental health services.

Green care provides "cost effective" plan for mental health, new research shows | Horticulture Week

With a summary here:
Nature-based interventions for mental health care | Farming Futures

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