Woodlands For Health is an Eco Therapy programme prescribed by medical professionals of forest based activities for mental health patients which complements the development of Community Mental Health Services and a ‘recovery’ approach, one of the fundamental principles in Ireland’s mental health policy A Vision for Change (2006-2016).
In 2012 the first Wicklow programme was initiated by Coillte (The Irish Forestry Board) in partnership with the HSE, Mental Health Ireland and Wicklow Mental Health Association and Wicklow Sports Partnership.
In 2014 the project was evaluated by the HSE and University College Dublin, which found that participants improved their mood by 75 per cent and sleep by 66 per cent; in addition, their thoughts of suicide declined by 82 per cent.
In 2016 the first Dun Laoghaire Rathdown programme commenced with Coillte, Dun Laoghaire Sports Partnership, HSE, Mental Health Ireland, Get Ireland Walking, Sport Ireland and Dublin Mountains Partnership. In late 2017 a full evaluation from the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown project will be produced to measure its success.
For more information about Woodlands For Health contact firstname.lastname@example.org