In the spring of 2011, Swope Park Health Services decided to build 6 raised beds to plant a garden to be cared for by patients in the behavioral health day program, which treats disorders such as anxiety, depression, bi-polar disorder, grief, and post-traumatic stress to name a few.
Studies have shown that gardening can help treat individuals who suffer from mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.
According to Mother Earth Living, gardening can be therapeutic:
“Being in a garden, surrounded by beautiful plants and doing simple, manual tasks such as deadheading, weeding and watering can calm the mind and lift the spirit.”
-Karen Kennedy, Horticulture Therapist
At Swope Park Health Services, these patients make group decisions as to what vegetables to plant each season and, with staff support, they plant, water and harvest their vegetables. They then use the harvest to teach healthy cooking life skills.
The garden was huge success as the patients anxiously await springtime each year, because they know that it’s time to begin the garden again!
The program was so successful that Swope Park Health Services decided to add more beds to the garden this year. KCCG assisted the construction along with fifteen eager clients and staff who came out to build 2 more raised beds to help grow more fresh veggies!
The garden already grew an abundance of tomatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, peppers and kale and now they’ll be able to add to their bounty with these two new beds!