Partners Involved: National Health Service, The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare in the UK, Green Spaces
Type of Partnership: Win-Win for Public and Planet
Partnership Models: Therapist, Purifier, Isolator, Moneymaker
The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare in the UK works with the National Health service (NHS) to enhance the natural environment while reconnecting local communities with their local greenspace to benefit their physical and mental health.
The NHS Forest works with the health sector to make green spaces available for health purposes, including improving patients’ lifestyles, and aiding recovery processes. Since 2009, 180 NHS sites have collectively planted thousands of trees, and community gardening is utilized to improve health and cultivate greener habitats; environmental volunteering can be as effective as aerobics in improving fitness.
The NHS also evaluates the cost benefits of green spaces and estimates they could save £2.1 billion in health care costs. The economic impact of physical inactivity in England is estimated to be £8.2 billion per year.
Doctors in Shetland, Scotland have already been authorized to prescribe birdwatching, gardening, tree planting and beach walks to help treat chronic and debilitating illnesses, mental health issues, diabetes, heart disease, stress and other conditions. While nature or “green prescriptions” are intended as a supplement and not a replacement of conventional treatments, they are gaining popularity globally. San Francisco physician Daphne Miller, commonly writes prescriptions that look like this:
- Drug: Exercise in Glen Canyon Park
- Dose: 45 minutes of walking or running
- Directions: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7am
- Refills: Unlimited
SDGs Targeted: SDG 3 Health, SDG 13 Climate Action, SDG 15 Life on Land
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