UK ‘Care Farms’ to support those with mental health challenges.

If you’re diagnosed with severe mental health problems, odds are you’ll be admitted to a specialised hospital to undergo treatment, but what if there was another option? According to an article by Positive News, UK-based ‘care farms’ are an alternative method of treatment that utilises ‘farming or horticulture activities as a form of therapy’. Participants take part ‘in everything from feeding animals to trimming hedgerows, while receiving support and instruction from the farm’s trained staff.’ 

Image source: Positive news 

This is the UK’s story of gratitude for their care farms which are helping to change the lives of people struggling with their mental health.  

The care farms host vulnerable groups including ‘dementia patients, young people at risk of school exclusion and people with learning difficulties, using farming as a way to boost wellbeing, self-esteem and a sense of community.’ The concept, which is proving to be extremely effective, is relatively established in countries such as the Netherlands and are becoming increasingly popular throughout Europe due to their success rates. 

Julie Plumley who runs ‘Future Roots, at Rylands Farm in Dorset’ (which mostly takes on children who have been excluded from school) ‘says that three quarters (73 per cent) of young people who have completed a Future Roots program have gone on to further education after their time at the farm.’ These incredible results just go to show how the rehabilitation techniques at care farms are changing lives for the better. 

Imagine if we all found ways to support those who were struggling with their mental health, whether that be from severe past trauma or small bouts of general anxiety, there are many ways that we can show our support. Donating to charities that support mental health services is a simple way to help those in need, or even just reaching out to a friend who’s been having a tough time. Small acts of kindness can make a world of difference. 

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