Gardening for Health: A community garden as a community support to strengthen the recovery of people experiencing a mental health crisis
The garden is to provide a safe, comfortable and naturally inspiring base for the self help group and to strengthen its integrative and activating character. It is meant to create space for interaction with the natural, landscape and social environment, i.e. to foster the establishment, nurturing and development of relationships with the Earth, soil, inter- and intrapersonal.
As part of the activity, the participants will plan and establish a community ornamental garden from materials provided, which will be a place for meetings, conversations and various activities. Participants will grow and care for vegetables, flowers and herbs and respond to the current needs of these plants, and successively harvest and use the crops. The group process will intersect with the gardening calendar and the rhythm of nature. The intention of embedding the process in the full growing season is to draw on the potential that is mobilised by observing and actively participating in the transformations of the garden from sowing of seeds to potential harvest.
To improve the well-being of people using the community garden
Among the outcomes of the activity, the following changes can be expected:
1. improved overall well-being of participants
2. individual health-promoting benefits from close contact with soil and soil bacteria (Mycobacterium vaccae antidepressant and anxiety-reducing effects, among others)
3. horticultural competence increase, including knowledge and skills to grow own food
4. Increased awareness of the value of soil and how to influence its creation (the principle of mutual exchange in practice, in nature and in society)
5. increased attentiveness to self, others and the world of plants and animals
6. development of skills of co-existence and cooperation in the natural and social environment
7. increased personal involvement in creating their own living environment and responsibility
8. Increase in self-confidence, belief in oneself and one's own abilities and self-esteem, as well as the ability to cope with the challenges of life and the world, increase in the sense of empowerment
9. empowerment in recovery
At first we look for answers to the following questions:
1. With whom can community gardens be done in Bialystok? (or other place as for example in Greifswald or Rotterdam)
Gardeners, landscape architects, garden designers, hortiterapists, occupational therapists, environmental therapists, recovery assistants, psychotherapists, doctors, psychologists, nurses. Building a community of professionals around a community garden.
2. Where in Bialystok can community gardens be done? Where is suitable space available? What should it be like?
3. What for community gardens? Finding funding.
4. What are the benefits of a community garden and who does it benefit?
5. Who to do a community garden for? Who is the potential audience-gardener, participant, target group?
6. When can you start doing a community garden?
7. How to do it? Where to start?
8. Who will run and maintain the garden? Organisational form, e.g. a support group through a garden for people with experience of mental crisis, a Garden Club e.g. at the Psychiatry Centre in Białystok.
The answers to the above questions will allow us to gather resources, clarify and define the vision and translate it into further concrete actions from conception, through planning, design to establishing the garden.
Opening and running of the Municipal Community Garden for Health in Bialystok, which supports and strengthens in recovery the people who use it.
If you are interested in the topic, join us!
This topic currently focuses on finding interested contributors and gathering initial input on the questions. On this basis, further activities (tasks or teams) can then be planned. Therefore, submit comments on any of these questions and/or click on "Contribute" to indicate your willingness to participate in future activities (tasks, teams). For the implementation of activities, facilitators will also be needed. You too can become a facilitator of a future activity. Use the comment function to make special suggestions or offers, such as "I would like to become a facilitator".