What do an engineer, an architect, and a building surveyor psychiatrist share in common? They all have a renovated rooftop garden. The idea was developed to assess the effects of horticultural therapies on the wellbeing and health of individuals who have mental illness.
Engineer Rob Casilick contacted building surveyor and academic Sara Wilkinson with the news that he had funds to study the GROW program of horticultural therapy that is located on the roof of the garden at St. Canice’s, a church in the inner city situated in the Sydney suburb of Kings Cross, she knew it was a fantastic opportunity. She also realized that she was unable to assess the health impacts of the program, so she contacted UTS medical and academic health specialist Fiona Orr.
They realized how wide the benefits could be. About one out of five Australians suffers from mental disease. Mental health can be affected by personal or social causes that include economic disadvantage and housing issues, inadequate social support, and access to and use of health care services.
In our dense, urban-pressure, high-pressure, and some argue, increasingly isolated world, there’s growing evidence of a cure and an approach to reducing anxiety, stress, and mental illnesses. It’s in our backyards. Based on the results from the GROW study, more rooftop gardens are currently being built.
Rooftops are often neglected and neglected spaces. They comprise around 30% of the urban areas that are horizontal are roofs. Green roofs, whether retrofitted or newly constructed, could assist in controlling stormwater run-off and improve air quality, decrease temperatures in urban areas, improve biodiversity, increase thermal efficiency, improve property value, and, importantly, in this case, offer amenity space.
How does green space impact wellbeing?
The way we live and the environment we inhabit influences our mental wellbeing and wellbeing. The advantages of green spaces include:
Participation in activities and events that encourage social interaction as well as increase physical activity;
decreases stress levels and improves mood foc,us, and
positively affects mood and anxiety disorders.
The year 1984 was the time that Edward Wilson introduced the biophilia hypothesis. The basis of this is the notion that humans have an instinctual desire to seek out a connection with nature in order to benefit from its tranquilizing effects. Biophilia literally means “love of life or living systems.”
The question is, does it even exist? Is it also possible to incorporate it into the lives of those who are recovering from mental illnesses?
The seeding site where we planted
St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, was able to try two horticultural therapy programs designed for those who are recovering from mental illnesses. The roof space located at St Canice’s was about 55m2 with gardens that contained vegetable beds, tiny shrubs, flowering plants, and herbaceous plants, along with a small, vertical garden for strawberries and flowers. The kitchen at the church made use of some of the fruits and herbs that were grown there to cook meals for homeless residents in the local area.
The St. Canice’s rooftop, which was featured during the crowdfunding phase for the initiative, has now become a healthy garden. St Canice’s/chuffed.org
The GROW program for horticultural therapy included daily, two-hour sessions for participants for eight weeks. A horticultural therapy therapist, aided by an experienced gardener, was in charge of these sessions.
In two sessions gu, est speakers with special abilities in cooking and music led activities that were a perfect complement to the gardening programme for the week.
What was the result of this?
The majority of participants didn’t have access to gardens, and the program offered them access to a peaceful and stunning space that improved their wellbeing and health. The many advantages they spotted included regular contact with other people and creating friendships, enjoying enjoyment and relaxation.
It’s like a small refuge or an oasis to go to each week. You wouldn’t think that this would be on the roof. It’s a stunning garden… also, it’s plenty of different plants, and they provide oxygen to us. It’s simply a gorgeous location.
It’s been great getting to know everyone every week a little bit better. It’s been wonderful creating friendships and relationships.
I’m here to relax and leave smiling every time I leave the location.