The mentally disabled in a botanical garden

Chermaz, A., 2005, The mentally disabled in a botanical garden, in: Gallis, C.T., ‘Forests, trees, and human health and well-being’, Siokis, Thessaloniki

  • Author : Chermaz, A.
  • Year : 2005
  • Published in Book : Forests, trees, and human health and well-being
  • Pages : 151-157
  • Abstract in English : Mental illness fails to capture the public interest unless it strikes individuals or their family member. No other health problem is as shrouded but public indifference and ignorance. For this reason it is very important that for the first time in Italy, the mentally disabled have come actively and fully work in a botanical garden. This paper is dealing with a program to improve the therapeutic aspects and help integration of mentally disabled by means of Horticultural therapy. Horticultural therapy is seen as a process through which plants, gardening, and the innate closeness we feel toward nature are used as vehicles in professionally programs of therapy and rehabilitation. The botanical Garden’s beautiful and precious green collections attract thousands of visitors every year. The attempt to bring visitors and disabled together through a horticultural program has a great challenge; and a successful one too, thanks to the therapist’s mediation. The program has stimulated and improves the sense of smell, sight, and taste thanks to the abundance of flowers, the variety of leaves and the savoring of seasonal fruits. Furthermore, the patients’ self-confidence has grown through the visitors’ frequent positive compliments on their work.
  • Comments/Notes : KEYWORDS: hortical therapy, disabled, botanical garden.