Social Prescriptions

Social Prescriptions and engaging in nature- the benefits to mental health


There are more and more programs that are prescribing nature-based therapy rather than medication.  These programs have shown that they improve well being and could lead to lower NHS costs.

One such program is River Remedies: Improving well -being through nature, this is a scheme run in the South Gloucestershire and Bristol areas on the River Frome.  The individuals in the original scheme their well being scores went from ‘poor’ to being in line with national averages.

Engaging in nature is beneficial for all. Several studies have revealed that exposure to nature has positive associations with well-being.  However Natural England’s last survey of engagement with the natural environment, only 42% of the population had visited the outdoors in the last seven days, and around 50% of these visits were to urban parks.

A report in The Lancet- Planetary Health, found a significant reduction in major depressive disorder in those living in closer proximity to green spaces.

A common factor attributed to the benefits in time in nature is those individuals partake in a greater level of physical activity. However ‘green exercise’ amplifies the benefits of physical activity indoors, being outdoors will also help top up your ‘vitamin D’ levels.

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