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The Philosophy of Greencare - why it matters for our mental health

Team talk for Critical Psychiatry Network 17 April 2014
by

rex haigh

on 30 September 2014

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Transcript of The Philosophy of Greencare - why it matters for our mental health

Clinical features:
Containment and boundaries
Structure - check-in & check-out
Group principles
Range of activities
Evaluation - Recovery Star
"I used to think that this greencare
was a heap of shit, but I went home
and realised I felt a lot better"
"This is the best
therapeutic
experience
of the week"
"It’s not therapy-focused time, but time spent with the people you’re in therapy with, working together on cooperative projects. It helps to break down barriers that are sometimes formed in therapy. It is a calming and peaceful space"
However, it
has not been
that easy...
Yet we survive -
if a little uncertainly
With visions
for the future:
small, medium and wild
Small:
That we will
get funded
to survive
beyond 2013
Medium:
That we will get a
sustainable system
to provide some MH
services for the NHS
Wild:
That we will take over
PD mental health services
from the NHS
and run them better!
Needed:
A friend in a high place...

Highgrove?
But for the last word,
we must give apologies to the late
Sir John Betjeman
Come, friendly folk, and visit Slough,
Where care of green's unfolding now,
Where famished souls can learn to grow.
Refashion hope!

Learn anew how to relate:
To renew, engage and then create!
Do not defer, do not debate.
Heal your wounds

With ring of stones and tee pee tall,
As genesis of a collective call.....
Together we conquer, divided we fall.
Assuage your hurt

Come, friendly folk, and visit Slough,
The earth will yield as harrow and plough
Make fruitful our new harvest now.
The yurt exhales

Fiona Lomas, 2011
(with apologies to John Betjeman, 1937)

The Launch Party 2011
A very cold winter 2010
Wild weather winter 2011-12
Rebuilding no. 5
Then came the cold & rain
Do they want us?
They say they do,
but...
The Philosophy of Greencare:
Rex Haigh, Consultant Psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy
Matthew Harding, Expert by Experience and Mental Health Nurse
Vanessa Jones, Expert by Experience and Research Lead
Fiona Lomas, Expert by Experience and Greencare Coordinator

Sunshine after the storms, Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Forest skills for excluded-from-school teenagers in Oxfordshire
Gentle care farming for frail elderly people in Staffordshire
An urban greencare project in central London
A residential therapeutic community for personality disorders in
Dunedin, New Zealand
A residential therapeutic community for addictions in Melbourne
A prison therapeutic community farm
in Thessaloniki, Greece
A residential therapeutic community
for severe mental illness in Bangalore
Care farming for long-stay service users in Taiwan - to be developed along TC lines
why it matters for our mental health
A therapeutic farm village for people with severe learning disability, and staff, in Yorkshire
A training programme for Young Offenders
in Worcestershire
Animal-assisted interventions for emotionally disturbed children in upstate New York
What do people think of Greencare?
Anecdotal evidence
"I used to think that this greencare
was a heap of shit, but I went home
and realised I felt a lot better"
"It’s not therapy-focused time, but time spent with the people you’re in therapy with, working together on cooperative projects. It helps to break down barriers that are sometimes formed in therapy. It is a calming and peaceful space"
"This is the best
therapeutic
experience
of the week"
What do people think of Greencare?
Anecdotal evidence

Focus Group Discussions

Directions Group
Getting Ready Group
Intensive TC Group
Greencare therapists
Assistant Psychologists
The Philosophy of Greencare:
Contact details:
Rex Haigh
email rex.haigh@nhs.net
Vanessa Jones
email vanessa.jones7@nhs.net
Fiona Lomas
email fionalomasnpd@gmail.com

www.growingbetterlives.org

why it matters for our mental health
Where is greencare going?
“Sometimes if you have a difficult morning the only thing you want to do is go home… you go there you think about something else , you do something else, it can ease attention…”
“I suppose you could liken it to an athlete, so when they’ve done their work-out they then do their stretches to come down and this is a bit like that”
“There’s many a time I’ve walked out of the hospital and I still feel agitated but when I come here feel different”
“ I think going over there and interact in a different environment can make us bond better, when we bond there better then we can get on…”
“I see it as mindfulness on a big scale; peace, quiet…somewhere to chill”
“Here we’re in the open I think, we’re surrounded by the outside even though we’re in a room we’re still surrounded by the outside and I think that perhaps helps

“Very different…like here isn't a hospital…corridors people come down all the time”
“sitting around the table having lunch, the social side of it that's really important to me, and I really enjoy that”
“Gives up a chance to re-group I think, the journey here and then the lunch gives you a chance to start again, a chance to re-group”
“So we feel that we have achieved something and possibly go home and do it"
"like when we were doing the cooking and made the apple cake, and chutney – that was good fun, when we are all doing different bits and pieces. Teamwork, doing it together”
“I’ve enjoyed doing it cos I used to do art when I was younger so coming here I’m getting back to do what I used to do”
- Nidotherapy & research network
- Sustainable Mental Health & RCPsych policy
- Enabling Environments, eg as Francis response
- PIEs and PIPEs for homelessness and prisons
- Love Care Farm and friends in high places
- 3 returns in commissioning:
economic, social, ecological
- Fiona's acorns...

This Talk:

What IS greencare? - RH
What do we actually do? - FL & MH
What do people think of it? - VJ
Where next? - RH

- NOT 'just a bit of gardening as well as therapy'
Full transcript