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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