With growing strain on mental health services, one of the benefits of using nature to aid mental health recovery is that it can be used alongside a more typical medicalised treatment plan such as talking therapy and interventions could potentially be implemented anywhere.

Indeed, greenspace interventions could be a promising addition to both current health and social care provisions as they have the potential to be low-cost and widely accessible for people within their own communities. Furthermore, this area of research is particularly relevant within the current profile in Scotland of people’s wellbeing, as well as environmental and conservation agendas. The role of greenspace is embedded across many different policy areas including physical activity, mental health, early years, community, and conservation.

However, despite there being a number of greenspace programmes designed to improve mental wellbeing in Scotland, there is currently a lack of nationwide mapping of services indicating where programmes are located, target populations, existing programme objectives, mechanisms, and intended outcomes. This makes it difficult to ascertain what programmes exist, and with what focus.

A survey has been developed as part of a PhD project at Stirling University to investigate what exists, and if and why existing greenspace programmes are successful. The overall project aim is to explore how engagement with greenspace can improve mental health and support reductions in the use of substances (such as illicit drugs and alcohol) in Scotland.

If you are a staff member of an organisation that regularly uses any type of greenspace, and which has an aim of improving mental wellbeing, then this survey is for you.

The results of the survey will allow the researchers to effectively map services in regard to whom services are for, what type of greenspace is used, and where they are located. 

Take part