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Digital Subscriptions > Mental Health Nursing > Apr/May 2019 > Using nature to improve mental health

Using nature to improve mental health

Carl Dutton @carldutton3

I have been a mental health nurse since 1989 having trained in the 1980s at what was termed the Chester School of Nursing. At that time we basically lived and trained on site, and there was a large area of gardens with glass houses/atriums attached to the wards, which often had plants growing in them.

As a student I noticed how different the patients were when they went into the garden spaces. They seemed calmer and their relationships with each other and staff were more relaxed. Fixed and often destructive roles were less obvious and positive interactions took place in natural environments across the hospital site.

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About Mental Health Nursing

This special themed edition of Mental Health Nursing is on art and therapy in mental health. It includes: - Articles on the history and use of art therapy in modern practice - Service user views - Reflections on using arts therapies - Part one of a comic series on suicide prevention - Student perspective - Interview with a head arts therapist