Ecotherapy works

Mind is making the case for ecotherapy as a public health intervention and mental health treatment. Ecotherapy improves mental and physical health and wellbeing by supporting people to be active outdoors doing gardening, farming, food growing, exercise, art and craft, or environmental conservation work.

People tell us they like ecotherapy because it supports them to do an activity they enjoy, meet people and get outdoors in the fresh air. They usually don’t know it is called ecotherapy but might instead talk about getting involved in gardening, forestry, growing food, tending animals, conservation work, building parks and ponds and reclaiming overgrown land. They will also say that it makes them feel good, be more active, sleep better and make new friends.

Ecotherapy is a cost-effective way to improve both physical and mental wellbeing, which is accessible and inclusive. Evidence from Mind’s Ecominds funding scheme demonstrates that ecotherapy can have a real impact on people’s mental wellbeing and provides them with access to education and training, improving their social connectivity and increasing their enjoyment of green spaces.

What is ecotherapy?

Watch our video to see how ecotherapy is changing people's lives

Download campaign resources

> Briefing: Ecotherapy for mental wellbeing, resilience and recovery (PDF, 242KB)
Our briefing about ecotherapy, for health and wellbeing board chairs

> Infographic: What is ecotherapy and what are the benefits? (PDF, 205KB)
An infographic showing the benefits of ecotherapy

> Report: Feel better outside, feel better inside: Ecotherapy for mental wellbeing, resilience and recovery (PDF, 2.04MB)
This report sets out how ecotherapy can be used by health, social care and public health professionals to improve health and wellbeing.

> Report: Ecominds effects on mental wellbeing: An evaluation for Mind (PDF, 4.57MB)
This report outlines the results of an independent evaluation, conducted by the University of Essex, of the wellbeing outcomes of Mind's Ecominds funding scheme.

> The Economic Benefits of Ecominds: A case study approach (PDF, 285KB)
This report by nef consulting outlines the economic implications of a sample of five projects funded by Mind's Ecominds funding scheme.

Find ecotherapy near you


Our range of ecotherapy publications includes independent research findings and our ecotherapy information booklet.

> Read or download them here


Three women sitting at table in greenhouse sorting vegetables

Between 2009 and 2013, Ecominds funded 130 ecotherapy projects across England.

> About our Ecominds funding scheme

Why ecotherapy?

Ecotherapy saves money and improves people's mental and physical wellbeing.

> The benefits of ecotherapy

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z


Helping you to better understand and support people with mental health problems

> Find out more

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