Health Check - Eco-therapy
Eco-therapy, empathising with nature as a treatment for mental illness. We look at the treatments practiced and ask whether they work.
In this week’s programme Richard Mabey, the man described as "Britain's greatest living nature writer", talks to Claudia Hammond about "the lost years" of his depressive illness. The author of Food for Free, Flora Britannica and Nature Cure admits that a symptom of his clinical depression was that he lost his connection with the natural world. Also, mental health professionals join Andy McGeeney in ancient woodland at Thorndon Park in Essex, to learn about eco-therapy - the idea of empathising with the environment to treat mental illness – and Lisa on horticultural therapy. After many years of illness, Lisa, a former mental health nurse, tells Claudia about the part making a garden played in her recovery. And we look at the evidence for "Green Therapy". Dr Rachel Bragg from the Green Care Research Team at the University of Essex describes the evidence behind nature-based therapies and argues they should be part of a "toolkit" of care for patients.