The Canis Majoris Foundation is in preparing s a space in the CAFORTA-Torre Veleta center where people with severe brain damage and severe mental disorders obtain benefits at cognitive, physical , social, emotional and work levels through activities in therapeutic horticultural gardens.
Therapeutic gardens are a wonderful tool to connect with nature and complement mental health therapies. The American Horticultural Therapy Association defines “horticultural therapy” as activities related to growing plants, performed by a trained therapists, and setting specific goals.
In our country, many professionals in the field of Mental Health are realizing the benefits that horticultural activities provide, not only mentally or emotionally, but also physically and socially.
Taking an approach to the concept of biophilia: the theory of biophilia described by Edward O. Wilson (1989), helps us understand what is behind the benefits of interacting with activities in nature.
According to Wilson, the connection with nature is defined as the relationship of closeness that one has with all living beings.
This theory would help us to clarify why outdoor activities or activities in contact with animals and plants make us feel better and improve our health at different levels.
What benefits does it provide? Horticultural activity has numerous benefits among which are:
- Improvement of socialization skills with the group.
- Physical benefits derived from working in the garden.
- Acquisition of knowledge of the plant and animal kingdom.
- Acquisition of positive values and care of living beings.
- Mental well-being through contact with nature.
- Improvement of self-esteem and self-concept.
And what is currently being done? Therapeutic gardens are now carried out in many Social Health Institutions such as Hospitals, Senior Centers, Day Centers, Occupational Centers, etc. These centers develop programs adapted to the needs of patients or users establishing specific objectives for each person.
Other options that this type of activity offers are those derived from cultivation and gathering such as cooking workshops, healthy eating workshops, natural cosmetics workshops or work-therapy and ornamentation workshops.
Scientific evidence: there is still a lot to research, but some studies already show data on the benefits of this type of therapy. Belos are some relevant links: