One of the great things about the campus here at Highfield Healthcare are the beautiful grounds. You might be surprised to hear that the wonderfully tended flora surrounding our building are in use for Forest Therapy with some of our service-users.
Forest Therapy falls under the umbrella of Ecotherapy, which is an evidence based intervention in mental health; the practice of spending time in forested areas to enhance health, wellness, and happiness.
Recently here at Highfield Healthcare we decided to take a closer look at this innovative adjunct therapy, so that staff, residents and visitors could learn all about it. Across our social media, we shared videos and images on the subject, which can still be found on our Facebook and Twitterprofiles.
A competition was run among the staff, where they were invited to submit their experiences in connecting with nature – a photo, poem or simply a couple of lines. Then staff could experience Forest Therapy first hand during a staff well-being walk. The walk lasted for about an hour, during which the group explored the grounds with qualified Forest Therapy Guide Shirley Gleeson (Senior Social Worker here at Highfield Healthcare) and focused on the benefits a connection with nature can have on our well-being.
What is really special about Forest Therapy is how accessible the practice is to everyone. You can take part in guided walks like those we engage our service users in, or you can take a few moments to yourself to connect one on one with nature.
Here are some helpful tips on how you too, can engage with forest therapy;
Here at Highfield Healthcare we were delighted to get involved with the month long national Green Ribbon Campaign to get people talking openly about mental health problems in May 2017. As providers of acute and specialist mental health in Dublin since 1825, we fully support the mission to end the stigma that remains around mental health issues in Ireland.
Our launch was held on the 19th of May, National #TimeToTalk day, where our Clinical Director Andrew Eustace spoke of the ways we can all improve and maintain our mental health. Dr. Andrew emphasized the importance of relationships with friends and keeping physically active in tackling life’s daily stresses.
Yesterday Highfield Healthcare’s very own Dr Miriam Kennedy was a guest of Near FM‘s Lifeline. As part of mental health awareness month, Dr Miriam was live on air to promote the Green Ribbon Twitter Q&A she will be participating in tomorrow evening alongside Dr Jennifer Hoblyn.
At 7pm on the 31st of May, the two consultant psychiatrists are taking over the @GreenRibbonIRL twitter account to engage with people about mental health recovery and psychiatry. To get involved all you need to do is tweet using the hashtag #AskPsych.
Taking place on the very last day of Green Ribbon Month 2017, it is more important than ever to encourage the national conversation around mental health, so if you have any questions you would like answered now don’t hesitate to join in.
Helen McEntee TD, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, today welcomed the publication of the Mental Health Commission Annual Report for 2015, which includes the Report of the Inspector of Mental Health Services.