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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2007

Ambra Burls

Drawing on the author's multi‐method research on the viability of specific ecotherapy practitioner training and curriculum design, this paper debates how the use of…

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Abstract

Drawing on the author's multi‐method research on the viability of specific ecotherapy practitioner training and curriculum design, this paper debates how the use of ecotherapeutic approaches can provide a two‐pronged system to achieve both individual health (at micro level) and public and environment health outcomes (at macro level). The research sought the views of service users, practitioners and educationalists through use of interviews, focus groups, a nominal group, and an ethnographic case study group. This research raised other considerations: namely, that people seeking personal recovery also, through stewardship of green spaces, may achieve unanticipated social capital and natural capital outcomes and thereby meet current multi‐disciplinary policy targets. This added social value has not been previously considered as an important dimension in people's well‐being and recovery from ill health or social exclusion. Such outcomes emerge from the idea of green spaces becoming a ‘product’ delivered to the community by people whose pursuit of personal recovery also directly contributes to improved public mental health.

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Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Neil Wilson, Susan Fleming, Russell Jones, Kevin Lafferty, Kirsty Cathrine, Pete Seaman and Lee Knifton

Branching Out is a 12‐week ecotherapy programme for clients who use mental health services within the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. Over the course of a year 110 clients…

Abstract

Branching Out is a 12‐week ecotherapy programme for clients who use mental health services within the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. Over the course of a year 110 clients attended the programme, of whom 77 (70%) completed the course. In order to ascertain the outcomes of the programme and the elements that appeared to facilitate change, semi‐structured interviews with clients (n=28) and two focus groups with clinicians (n=5 and n=3) from the referring services were conducted.The data gathered therein was analysed using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). From the results, five themes emerged as client outcomes. These were: improvements to mental well‐being, improvements to physical health, provision of daily structure and routine, transferable knowledge and skill acquisition, and increased social networking and social skills development. Three themes pertaining to the service logistics (team building and social inclusion, contrast of environments and work and recognition) emerged as potential explanations for the client outcomes. There was a perception among clients and clinicians that Branching Out represented a ‘stepping stone to further community engagement’. The results reflect a recovery‐oriented approach to health care. The limitations of the evaluation and implications for the future are discussed.

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Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2008

Neil Wilson, Michael Ross, Kevin Lafferty and Russell Jones

The concept of utilising greenspace to promote and maintain mental health predates the development of almost all current treatment modalities. Although the use of…

Abstract

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.

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Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

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78

Abstract

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Health Education, vol. 107 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2021

Ambra Burls and Julian Ashton

Drawing on experience of working in the area of mental health and the environment, key issues are examined, and the theoretical framework is explained, including the…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on experience of working in the area of mental health and the environment, key issues are examined, and the theoretical framework is explained, including the benefits to communities and to the local environment of working with nature.

Design/methodology/approach

The interview gave an opportunity for development of ideas underlying concepts including the natural health service, green health literacy and changes in behaviour during the pandemic.

Findings

The ways in which people and the environment benefit from interaction with nature are becoming well understood; in a sustainable model, the value of the local environment is appreciated and will benefit from the care of those involved in relevant activities. There is a need for targeted training for health professionals, environment agencies’ staff and the voluntary sectors.

Research limitations/implications

The economic value of nature as a contributing factor in to mental health is an area for research which could have major influence in policymaking. A meeting of a number of disciplines could further bring together social capital, health economics and ecology.

Practical implications

Projects that are sustainable in every sense are those which are long term, whose value can be measured in environmental and economic terms.

Social implications

Working models have been developed that involve people on the fringes of society and people with disabilities; they often become the movers in local organisations.

Originality/value

This is an extremely wide-ranging assessment of developments in the relationship between mental health and nature.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2005

Ambra Burls

Abstract

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Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2007

Abstract

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Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2013

Jane Clatworthy, Joe Hinds and Paul M. Camic

The number of gardening-based mental health interventions is increasing, yet when the literature was last reviewed in 2003, limited evidence of their effectiveness was…

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6545

Abstract

Purpose

The number of gardening-based mental health interventions is increasing, yet when the literature was last reviewed in 2003, limited evidence of their effectiveness was identified. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the current evidence-base for gardening-based mental health interventions and projects through examining their reported benefits and the quality of research in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

Studies evaluating the benefits of gardening-based interventions for adults experiencing mental health difficulties were identified through an electronic database search. Information on the content and theoretical foundations of the interventions, the identified benefits of the interventions and the study methodology was extracted and synthesised.

Findings

Ten papers published since 2003 met the inclusion criteria. All reported positive effects of gardening as a mental health intervention for service users, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participants described a range of benefits across emotional, social, vocational, physical and spiritual domains. Overall the research was of a considerably higher quality than that reviewed in 2003, providing more convincing evidence in support of gardening-based interventions. However, none of the studies employed a randomised-controlled trial design.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for further high-quality research in this field. It is important that adequate outcome measures are in place to evaluate existing gardening-based mental health interventions/projects effectively.

Originality/value

This paper provides an up-to-date critique of the evidence for gardening-based mental health interventions, highlighting their potential clinical value.

Details

Mental Health Review Journal, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-9322

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Steve Pearce and Rex Haigh

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the application of therapeutic community (TC) method in non-TC environments.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the application of therapeutic community (TC) method in non-TC environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Milieu treatment is defined and differentiated from TC “proper”. Literature is reviewed covering attempts to use TC methods in inpatient wards, across hospitals, and more recently in the criminal justice system and more widely through the enabling environments initiative.

Findings

It is unclear whether TC milieu treatments proved helpful in acute ward environments in their heyday in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, in particular those involving people suffering from acute psychosis, and the changing landscape of psychiatric provision may make further investigation difficult. The reasons for this, and for the difficulties reaching a firm conclusion, are outlined. In contrast, TC milieu interventions appear to be demonstrating usefulness more recently in less mixed populations without the implementation of full TC “proper”.

Research limitations/implications

Much of the research is old and the methodology poor, which limits the conclusions that can be drawn.

Practical implications

Recent innovations pick up in a more accessible way principles of therapeutic communities that can inform and improve care in a variety of contexts. They are sufficiently well defined to lend themselves to research, which should now be a priority.

Originality/value

After a gap in developments in the field, recent innovations are reintroducing elements of TC functioning to new contexts including criminal justice settings, inpatient wards, homeless shelters and city communities.

Details

Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0964-1866

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2008

Woody Caan

Abstract

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Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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