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UK: How gardening helped my mental health – “It became my therapy”

Global Garden Project from Green Synergy.

Gardening therapy is being prescribed more and more frequently by GPs after a study at Harvard University found time spent pottering around outside resulted in substantially lower levels of depression among participants.

By NetDoctor
21 December 2017

Excerpt:

“5 years came and went, but very slowly I began to get better. With support from my mum I attended a mindfulness course that helped me go along to a community gardening group, Green Synergy. And whilst I also enjoyed the haven my own garden gave me, little did I know then the effect that community gardening would have on me.

“The outside world at times still felt terrifying but with my gardening volunteering, I started to feel valued, was part of a team again and started to learn new skills. The act of tending to something, looking after it, seeing it grow and flourish was hugely rewarding too. I didn’t need to be knowledgeable and it was ok to make mistakes as a garden will never judge – gardening had become my therapy.

“When asked if I’d like to volunteer, assisting a project officer, I jumped at the chance. It gave me more responsibly but in a total manageable way and, like a garden, I was bursting with colour and ready for the next season so felt ready for the opportunity for a paid apprenticeship with Green Synergy when it arose.

“Whilst there can be days where it is not easy, working as a trainee community gardener, leading projects and helping others who suffer from poor mental health, addiction problems as well as children within the community, has given me the chance to give back and get others on their road to recovery. It’s wonderful to watch others flourish and thrive just like a garden – the garden really is a special place.”

Read the complete article here.