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Mental Health Service thank Ventnor Botanic Garden

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Mental Health Service thank Ventnor Botanic Garden
20 August 2020

The staff and inpatients of the IOW NHS Trust’s Mental Health Service are looking forward to returning to Ventnor Botanic Garden (VBG) now that the Coronavirus restrictions are easing.

The Mental Health Inpatients Service were very kindly offered a free annual pass to Ventnor Botanic Garden by the director of VBG so staff are able to accompany an inpatient without charge. People who have been discharged from the service have also been given 3 months free entry to the gardens along with a carer.

Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health conditions including anxiety and depression. Outdoor space such as a garden can be used as a safe and secure place, to be part of a person’s rehabilitation process, it can help develop someone's ability to mix socially, make friends and learn practical skills that will help them to be more independent.

John Curtis, the Garden’s Director said:

"From 1869 to 1969 on the grounds of today's botanic garden in Ventnor stood the National Hospital for Diseases of the Chest . The hospital was built to address the difficult, misunderstood disease of those days - tuberculosis. Today's equivalent may well be stress and mental health.

“For this reason Ventnor Botanic Garden is working with St. Mary's mental health service to extend the history of healing at the Garden by offering free entry for staff and patients who staff believe would benefit from the tranquillity of the Garden.

“We are convinced that a modern botanic garden like ours has a role in improving visitors’ wellbeing whether through accompanied visits like these or through everyday wellbeing classes for all."

Chris Ainsworth, Deputy Director of Mental Health Service said:

“We value the outdoors and fresh air so much more since COVID-19 touched our lives, we will be continuing to make as much use of this marvellous offer and thank the Director of the garden who has offered us this gift.

“We know that being outdoors can have a positive impact on our mental health. It can reduce levels of stress, anxiety and depression and enhances creativity and positive thinking. I have visited the garden many times and would encourage others to take up this generous offer.”


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