PRESCRIBING GARDENING TREATMENT

I’ve always loved gardening but I never thought it would one day  be prescribed as a health treatment. My latest feature for Nursing Standard 3rd August 2016 ‘Gardening Your Way to Health’ was as a result of a  King’s Fund report ‘Gardens and Health Implications for Policy and Practice’ published in May this year which concludes there is a huge amount of evidence about the beneficial effects of gardens on both physical and mental health.  In my online feature https://rcni.com/nursing-standard/features/gardening-your-way-better-health-61206 18 August 2016 I looked at several examples of how gardening is being offered as a therapy e.g. by Macmillan Cancer Care and by GPs e.g. the Sydenham Green Group Practice in Lewisham London, has been offering gardening therapy to patients for 14 years for a range of around 18 conditions including mental health problems, dementia. sleep disorders, cancer and  heart disease, referring patients to the nearby Sydenham Gardens Community gardening project where people can work on a range of projects. GP and mental health lead in the practice Dr Jim Sikorski says it’s an appropriate health intervention , backed by evidence of benefit which can transform people’s lives for the better. Hopefully gardening therapy/treatment will be considered completely normal in the not too distant future.

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