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A review of ecotherapy as an adjunct form of treatment for those who use mental health services

Neil Wilson (Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS)
Michael Ross (Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS)
Kevin Lafferty (Forestry Commission Scotland)
Russell Jones (Glasgow Centre for Population Health)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 31 December 2008



The concept of utilising greenspace to promote and maintain mental health predates the development of almost all current treatment modalities. Although the use of greenspace as a therapeutic tool decreased throughout the 20th century, research in this area has grown exponentially over the last 20 years. This review examines the theory and increasing evidence base behind the psychological, social and physical health benefits of viewing and interacting with greenspace, and considers some of the common methodological limitations within the literature.Those who use secondary and tertiary care mental health services typically experience secondary problems due to reduced levels of social and physical activity. This review argues that the holistic benefits of greenspace make ecotherapy particularly appropriate for such a population. The review recommends that the effects of ecotherapy on those who use secondary and tertiary mental health care services be explored as part of an effort to redress the absence in the literature of quality studies in this area for this population.



Wilson, N., Ross, M., Lafferty, K. and Jones, R. (2008), "A review of ecotherapy as an adjunct form of treatment for those who use mental health services", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 23-35.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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