Branching Out: the impact of a mental health ecotherapy programme

Neil Wilson, Russell Jones, Susan Fleming, Kevin Lafferty, Lee Knifton, Kirsty Catherine, Hugh McNish

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Branching Out is a national-award-winning program developed by The Forestry Commission Scotland and The National Health Service. For each client, the program consists of 3 hrs of ecotherapy per week in outdoor woodland settings. Clients work together in small groups of 6–12 for a 12-week period. The program was evaluated using a repeated measures design. The independent variable was “attendance of the program,” of which there were two levels. The dependent variables were scores on the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale (WEMWBS), the SF-12v2TM Health Survey, and the Scottish Physical Activity Questionnaire (SPAQ). Repeated measures t-tests were used to examine pre- to postchange in the dependent variables. There were no significant differences between the pre- and post-WEMWBS or SF-12v2TM Health Survey scores, indicating that attendance of Branching Out did not have any significant effect on mental well-being or general health. Attendance of Branching Out significantly improved physical activity levels as evidenced by significantly higher postintervention SPAQ scores from baseline. The implications for practice are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)51-57
    Number of pages7
    JournalEcopsychology
    Volume3
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

    Keywords

    • ecotherapy
    • greenspace
    • mental health
    • stigma

    Cite this

    Wilson, N., Jones, R., Fleming, S., Lafferty, K., Knifton, L., Catherine, K., & McNish, H. (2011). Branching Out: the impact of a mental health ecotherapy programme. Ecopsychology, 3(1), 51-57. https://doi.org/10.1089/eco.2010.0049