Nature Is Healing: Some Canadian Doctors to Prescribe National Parks Passes to Patients

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From National Parks Traveler: “Health care professionals in four Canadian provinces can now prescribe time in the national park system to boost people’s mental and physical health.

Parks Canada is collaborating with a program called Park Prescriptions (PaRx). Doctors, nurses and other licensed health care professionals who register with the program can prescribe nature — and even a Parks Canada Discovery Pass — to their patients.

. . . PaRx director Dr. Melissa Lem, a family physician, [said] ‘There’s a strong body of evidence on the health benefits of nature time, from better immune function and life expectancy to reduced risk of heart disease, depression and anxiety.’

. . . Nature prescriptions were one of the top eight global wellness trends in 2019, and are cropping up around the world. Countries such as the United Kingdom are now investing in park prescription pilots to help tackle mental and physical health problems and the resulting strain on their health care systems and economies. PaRx was recently recognized by the World Health Organization in its COP26 Special Report on Climate Change and Health, where it was featured as a way to inspire protection and restoration of nature as the foundation of our health.”

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1 COMMENT

  1. Park prescriptions are a good idea. I know when I was living through my 2006 drug withdrawal induced “super sensitivity manic psychosis” – aka my mystical, mysterious, musical awakening to my dreams and healing journey – “Show me a garden that’s bursting into life” was blaring on the radio, as I was working on creating my daughter’s “secret garden.”

    Working in my yard was very helpful to me during my healing journey. But I did also do some “Let’s waste time Chasing cars,” in real life, that summer. Plus I did lots of biking in the parks, oftentimes with my children. So I absolutely agree, “Nature Is Healing.”

    It’s rather a shame, however, that the American psychiatric industry believes locking people away in a room with no windows, not allowing them to have visits from their family and friends, and “snowing” them with psych drugs, is what heals people from a drug withdrawal induced mania. Since that’s the opposite of how to assist a person productively get the excess energy experienced during a mania out.

    Giving people the freedom to work in their gardens, spend time with their loved ones, and bike in the parks are much more productive ways to heal from a drug withdrawal induced mania, than forced “snowings” / druggings in hospitals.

    Nature prescriptions are a good idea.