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Gardening with the RHS for good mental health

5th June 2018

Photo credit: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 RHS Feel Good Garden

Healthy London Partnership joined colleagues from NHS England to volunteer in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Feel Good Garden at Chelsea Flower Show between 22-26 May 2018. The Feel Good Garden was awarded worthy winner this year and recognised the NHS’s 70th birthday and the therapeutic benefits of gardening.

The garden will be relocated to Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I), will provide  a contemporary therapeutic space for the benefit of patients and staff at the Highgate Mental Health Centre, after being named the worthy winners of an RHS competition.

The Feel Good Garden provided the ideal setting to talk to visitors and raise awareness of Social Prescribing as a way of mobilising local assets, such as parks and outdoor spaces, to enable individuals to significantly improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Healthy London Partnership is supporting the roll out of Social Prescribing schemes across London. Interest in social prescribing by the NHS and doctors – where patients are referred to local, non-clinical community services which could include gardening, arts and creativity, and befriending – is on the increase across England. An estimated 20% of GPs’ time is spent on problems with social causes, and social prescribing could be a way to manage increasing demands on the NHS, including pressures on GPs’ time.

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