To read this content please select one of the options below:

Community gardens as psychosocial interventions for refugees and migrants: a narrative review

Triya Tessa Ramburn (Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada)
Yufei Mandy Wu (Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Rachel Kronick (Department of Psychiatry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 31 July 2023

Issue publication date: 4 August 2023

215

Abstract

Purpose

Community gardens are increasingly used as interventions during the resettlement of refugees and other migrants. Little is known about how garden programs might support their mental health and wellbeing. Given the links between climate change and forced migration, community gardens are especially relevant, as they can also support climate change mitigation. This study aims to document psychosocial outcomes of gardening programs for refugees and migrants, and mechanisms leading to these outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors searched major databases and the grey literature up to 2021, resulting in the inclusion of 17 peer-reviewed and 4 grey literature articles in a thematic, qualitative analysis.

Findings

Four consistent themes arose from the analysis: community gardening programs promoted continuity and adaptation (81% of articles), social connectedness (81%), overall wellbeing (95%) and a sense of meaning and self-worth (67%). The results suggest that community gardens can strengthen psychosocial pillars that are key to the recovery and resettlement of refugees and migrants. The land-based and social nature of community gardening may enable connections to the land and others, nurture a sense of belonging in the host country and provide a link to the past for those from agricultural backgrounds.

Research limitations/implications

Further participatory action research is needed to develop guidelines for the successful implementation of community gardens by resettlement organisations.

Originality/value

This review indicates that community gardens can be effective psychosocial interventions as part of a network of services supporting the resettlement of refugees and migrants.

Keywords

Citation

Ramburn, T.T., Wu, Y.M. and Kronick, R. (2023), "Community gardens as psychosocial interventions for refugees and migrants: a narrative review", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 122-141. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-09-2022-0095

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles