A Garden Path to Mental Health
By Michelle Song, RP, MTA | Clinical Supervisor for Aptus Treatment Centre
As Clinical Supervisor for Aptus’ Children’s Program, I contributed to the planning meetings for the Aptus Teaching Landscape, working alongside our landscape architect, growing experts and community members. Our goal was to design a greenspace that grows wellbeing. My contribution was to ensure this included mental health.
Here are some of the clinical benefits you may find in the Landscape:
- Being immersed in nature promotes slowing down, tuning into our body and mind, and becoming more conscious in the here and now, rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about the future.
- Accessible greenspaces can promote a sense of belonging – as if the layout and pathways are saying: “You are welcome here. We designed this for you.”
- There is a good balance of areas for socializing as well as for quiet time such as reading and meditating.
- The pathways with various focal points will stimulate curiosity and imagination, while inviting exploration and physical exercise such as walking, jogging and even snowshoeing.
- Physical exercise and social connection have been proven to alleviate symptoms of depression, and other physical and mental illnesses. The Landscape offers both.
- Horticultural therapy has been proven to decrease symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
- Observing nature such as life cycles, growth & renewal can give people hope and a greater understanding about life.
- And finally, the beauty of nature has a positive impact on people’s mood, attitude and outlook.
We hope you will visit the Aptus Teaching Landscape, develop new skills or simply enjoy the space on your own path to peace and wellbeing.