The Impact Of Horticulture Therapy On Mental Health Care Consumers On A Retrofitted Roof

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings from the PRRES Conference - 2017, 2017, pp. 1 - 13
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With increasing urbanisation and population growth, the potential for social isolation within urban settlements including central business districts (CBDs) grows. Mental health and related illnesses are determined by multiple, interacting social, psychological, and biological factors. Mental health may be impacted by individual or societal factors, including economic disadvantage, poor housing, lack of social support and the level of access to, and use of, health services. Living arrangements give some indication of the level of social support that a person is able to access. Interaction with people is vital to human development and social relationships and networks can act as protective factors against the onset or recurrence of mental illness and enhance recovery from mental disorders (WHO, 2005). It is possible that retrofitted rooftop gardens and green roofs could provide an environment whereby people can engage though a structured program of horticulture therapy. This research analyses a horticulture therapy program in Sydney in 2016 and this paper concentrates on the question; what is the impact of a rooftop horticulture therapy on mental health consumers? An illustrative case study approach was the framework around data collected via a semi structured focus group interview for this qualitative research. The findings reveal positive outcomes, including improved health and well-being, social interaction and skill development.
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