Take Me Outside Day - Is this an opportunity for everyone?


(Tracey Robertson) #1

Many people spend workdays indoors under fluorescent lights and in front of computers, then return home to bask in the glow of television screens.

But research suggests it’s important to make time to get outdoors as well, since doing so is beneficial — maybe essential — for human health. Psychologists and health researchers are finding more and more science-backed reasons we should go outside and enjoy the natural world here.

I think of the importance of the outside for people who are in low income and have mental health issues. Are there nature-based programs that support people living in shelters, people who are chronically depressed and /or are living in poverty that help with their sense of well-being and mental health? If nature and being in the outdoors has significant mental health benefits, what are the challenges for people who are marginalized, have mobility issues or are isolated?

Let us know what you think!

(Thea Silver) #2

@TRobertson Your post makes me think of some of the projects completed under the Weston Family Park Challenge which really aimed to transform the way we think about urban parks and greenspace and how they can be used to support community. A couple projects immediately came to mind for me such as the San Romanoway Revivial Project and the Aptus Teaching Landscape.

You can read more about the innovative projects done through the Weston Family Parks Challenge in the Breaking New Ground report. Many projects went on to spur larger initiatives about how parks and greenspace can realize a variety of social and community benefits!

(Heather Montgomery) #3

The Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver runs an outdoor wilderness program called Expeditions for people recovering from addiction. You can learn more about the program in this Vancouver Sun article from June 2017: https://vancouversun.com/health/local-health/wilderness-program-helps-men-overcome-addiction Or check out the program website here: https://www.ugm.ca/expeditions/ to watch a video about the program from the perspective of participants.

(Tracey Robertson) #4

Thanks Heather for posting and sharing about this program. A outdoor wilderness program seems to be highly effective for people who have mental health issues and addictions.