NewsGarden to improve mental health of patients at Airedale Hospital

Garden to improve mental health of patients at Airedale Hospital


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A new sensory and edible garden has blossomed at Airedale Hospital in Steeton, West Yorkshire, with the aim of uplifting the mood and promoting the wellbeing of mental health patients. Crafted by occupational therapist Beth Chesworth, the initiative received support from the Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s innovation development programme, which encourages staff to bring forward creative concepts.

Funded through the trust’s iCare programme, the garden provides a tranquil space for patients to engage in stress relief and relaxation through tending to a variety of plants. Beth Chesworth highlighted the abundance of fruit and vegetables within the edible garden, emphasizing the therapeutic benefits for patients who dedicate time to nurture and cultivate their own plants.

“Patients can take the time to grow these to support their mental health and wellbeing, benefitting from being in nature and taking pride in cultivating their own plants,” said Ms. Chesworth.

The project aligns with the broader mission of the trust’s innovation development programme, encouraging staff to contribute ideas that enhance patient care and overall hospital experiences. Ms. Chesworth noted the positive impact of horticultural groups on both patients and staff, citing improvements in mood and inspiration for future engagement in nature-based activities.

The introduction of the sensory and edible garden reflects a growing recognition within healthcare institutions of the therapeutic potential of green spaces and nature-based interventions. As patients and staff reap the benefits of this innovative project, it sets a positive precedent for the integration of nature-centric initiatives in mental health care settings.

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