The Myplace project , which specialises in ecotherapy, is celebrating its 1,000th participant today, with officials from NHS Trusts, local authorities and a number of Wildlife Trusts visiting an open event at Brockholes Nature Reserve in Preston.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust runs Myplace, in partnership with the Lancashire Care Foundation Trust. It aims to use nature as a prescription towards better mental health, and the partnership has proved both ground-breaking and successful.
Many of the 1,000 participants were prescribed by GPs who believe their patients benefit from being in nature, meeting people and doing something worthwhile. Others have self-referred onto Myplace, after hearing of the project at events and the Job Centre.
Medical professionals see outdoor work, interactions with other people and making products, like birdboxes and benches for Wildlife Trust reserve, as hugely beneficial to the mental state of people they see. And if this was followed up nationwide it would save the NHS millions of pounds and help people to cut down the numbers of drugs they are prescribed.