Connecting Mental Health and the… | Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives

Connecting Mental Health and the Environment with Mental Health America’s Mind Your Garden

Aug 12, 2020

Mind Your Garden was created by Mental Health America of Greater Dallas to promote the relationship between mental health and the environment. MHA knew that living in the city can increase your risk of mental illness by 40%, so they decided to work to change this number by getting people outdoors. Mind Your Garden focuses on Ecotherapy and education about forests and health through things like tree planting, yoga, and information booths from healthcare and insurance partners.

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Urban Ecotherapy

Parks are not only a place for people to come together and connect with nature, but they are also a place where people find health and well-being. Parks and green spaces help restore peace from the chaos of daily challenges and struggles.

In partnership with Texas A&M Forest Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, MHA of Greater Dallas created Mind Your Garden for the Dallas community to form healthy coping skills while using nature within an urban setting. This program provides the community with needed resources to achieve overall mental health, including nature journals and stress relief and mindfulness exercises.

The program creates a relationship with nature and prioritizes mental health. This initiative ensures that people have access to parks and green spaces for lower stress and depression, and increased overall quality of life and resiliency against developing mental illness.

In 2019, Mind Your Garden hosted a free kick off event with fun activities and educational booths that provided the community with resources that promote good mental health. People were able to participate in mindfulness-based activities like yoga and forest therapy, as well as enjoy live music, food trucks, face painting, puppies, and more.

They are currently promoting practicing mental health exercises at home and have provided their community with helpful resources to make that possible.

Mental Health America’s Mind Your Garden is another expert voice to champion the Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives message and bring trees and forests to the forefront of conversations about mental health. Mind Your Garden even received Mental Health America’s 2020 Innovation in Programming Award.

To learn more about Mind Your Garden or get involved, visit their website.

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