I am passionate about promoting the benefits of Gardening and improving people’s overall Mental Health and I was fortunate to visit the House of Lords with a group of clinicians as well as influential figures from around the Globe to talk about Mental Health and diversionary activities.
Dr Albert Persaud (Pictured) is one of the founders of the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) which was established following the National Service Framework for Mental Health to support the implementation of evidence-based practice.
He is a lifelong campaigner in equalities and health and a proponent of cultural psychiatry. He co-founded the charity CAREIF – Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation International Foundation (www.careif.org) – a charity based at the Centre for Psychiatry, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Dr Persaud is a keen gardener and uses his gardening to improve his overall health and well-being. If you are experiencing difficulties with your Mental Health, you might not know this, but soil contains anti-depressant properties so just digging and getting your hands in the ground can play a huge part in your recovery.
Stress is a worldwide problem that can cause physical problems such as higher blood pressure, muscle tension and digestive problems, while long-term stress can lead to serious health issues including depression and anxiety
Even something as simple as growing a plant from a seed or cutting on your windowsill can help reduce stress and make you feel more energized and able to think more clearly,
Over the years, I have helped a number of individuals in times of crisis. Lots of people that I have chatted to who suffer from anxiety or depression have found gardening to be invaluable in improving their overall health and wellbeing. In fact, so valuable in one case, that it saved their life and helped them to rebuild it and reduced their reliance on medication.
Gardening provides individuals with a sense of purpose and belonging and in fact, provides a challenge, whilst at the same time increasing the individual’s ability to concentrate and engage. It also provides the opportunity for vocational learning as well as intergenerational learning.
(Kevin Fortey with Dr. Albert Persaud after a meeting at the House of Lords)
Whether you are young or old, big or small, you can’t beat being out in the great outdoors or indoors….