Scotland’s forests and woodland supporting mental health
Forestry and Land Scotland is teaming up with the NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to support children and young people’s mental health.
Community rangers are involved in several CAMHS programmes across the central region that make the most of Scotland’s rural and urban woodlands and forests by allowing children and young people to connect with the natural world.
FLS is the lead partner for delivering NHS Regional South Glasgow Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Therapeutic Forest Group Programme that makes use of the Cuningar Loop and this year, FLS staff will be working with NHS teams from the Forth Valley and Lanarkshire in local woodland and forest.
Sessions are play-based and offer young people an opportunity to learn personal, social, emotional, and technical skills through activities such as wildlife exploration, den building, foraging and wild craft activities.
During Children’s Mental Health Week, FLS Community Ranger Jenny Ventham said: “Spending time outdoors can boost your mood, lower stress levels and improve overall mental and physical health.
“With responsibility for managing large areas of Scotland’s outdoor spaces, we want to make sure the benefits nature can provide are accessible to everyone. That’s why our community rangers work hard to support and provide these opportunities.
“Not many people may associate forestry with mental health support, but by working in close collaboration with NHS teams, FLS staff can play a crucial role in helping people gain an understanding of the value greenspaces have for mental and physical wellbeing.”
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