Help us campaign for ecotherapy

We've launched a national campaign for ecotherapy, Ecotherapy works, targeting health and wellbeing boards in England.

As an ecotherapy provider, you can help us campaign for ecotherapy in your local area by writing to your local health commissioners and local newspapers to tell them about your experiences with ecotherapy and what your project has achieved.

We've prepared the below information about the campaign specifically for ecotherapy providers. You can see the main campaign page at mind.org.uk/ecotherapyworks

The campaign aims to ensure that people have access to ecotherapy services in their local areas via one of the following routes:

  • through their GP as a treatment option for a mental health problem
  • through local services promoting better mental wellbeing, particularly for people with higher risks of developing mental health problems or who don’t traditionally access wellbeing services.

Write to your local commissioners

We’re asking all our supporters to email health and wellbeing board chairs to make the case for ecotherapy locally. In addition to this, we're encouraging ecotherapy providers to contact your local commissioners about the benefits of their ecotherapy work:

  1. Use the sample text below as a basis for your letter or email.

  2. Include some of the key messages from the campaign brief below.

  3. Attach a copy of our new report Feel better outside, feel better inside: Ecotherapy for mental wellbeing, resilience and recovery (PDF, 2.04MB).

Sample text for letters and emails

> Sample text to directors of public health

> Sample text to clinical commissioning leads

The campaign brief

As an ecotherapy provider, you can read the information below or download our Ecotherapy works campaign brief (PDF, 378KB) to find out how you can get more involved in the campaign.

What's our message?

We've developed some key messages to use throughout the campaign:

  1. Ecotherapy really works. It improves mental wellbeing, it helps people who wouldn't usually exercise become more physically active, it boosts the skills and confidence of people who are struggling to get back into work or training, and it's a great way of helping people who are lonely or socially isolated to broaden their networks.
  2. Mind funded 130 Ecominds projects with £7.5m support from the Big Lottery Fund. Over 12,000 people used these projects to look after their mental health by getting active outdoors: doing gardening, food growing or environmental conservation work supported by trained professionals.
  3. Ecotherapy services cost little and can bring savings. Research by the new economics foundation (nef) of five participants – who were typically representative of the Ecominds scheme – identified combined savings of £35,413 in one year through reduced health care costs and increased tax and NI contributions. Using nef's formula we can project savings of £1.46m in one year alone for the 254 people who found full-time work as a result of Ecominds.
  4. People tell us they enjoy ecotherapy – so having it available as a treatment option for people with an exiting mental health problem provides greater choice.
  5. Ecotherapy can improve everyone's mental and physical health – that's why we need it available everywhere.

How can Ecominds projects and local Minds get involved?

With the data collected through the Ecominds evaluation, Mind has added to the evidence base for the use of ecotherapy for better mental wellbeing.

We have produced a range of publications that can be used locally to start conversations and build relationships with commissioners and local authority public health teams – so that ecotherapy is part of future commissioning plans.

There are a number of ways to get involved in the campaign:

  1. Email your health and wellbeing board chair about the benefits of ecotherapy – and promote this opportunity to ecotherapy participants and colleagues.
  2. Target local decision-makers with our template letters and emails. Mind will produce a range of template letters and emails that can be sent to directors of public health, directors of social care, and clinical commissioning leads.
  3. Use our reports and your own evidence of impact to help build the case for commissioning ecotherapy services in your area.
  4. Develop a professional offer that clearly communicates to commissioners how you can help them meet health priorities.

Media

Mind’s media team will support the campaign, raising awareness of the true impact of Ecominds projects and the benefits of ecotherapy for mental health. By securing news coverage in national and local newspapers, magazines and radio stations, we aim to raise awareness of ecotherapy, and influence health commissioners and professionals across the UK to consider ecotherapy as a valid treatment. Here are a few ways that you can get involved:

  1. Contact your local newspapers, TV and radio stations to inform them about the campaign.
  2. Use our key messages in any media activity that you take forward in the future and tie your project in to the national campaign.
  3. Keep us informed about any media activity that you’re taking forward - we’d love to promote it through our communication channels.

For more information contact Alice White in Mind’s media team on 020 8215 2227 or email [email protected]

Get involved online

Using online channels can be a quick and cost-effective way to raise awareness of your service.

  1. Write a blog, create a film or record a podcast of your own experience of
    ecotherapy.
  2. Follow Mind on Twitter and use the #EcotherapyWorks hashtag in your tweets.
  3. Write an article on your website and use our photos and films to bring your text to life.
  4. Look out for articles from the Ecominds team and share them with your colleagues, members and service users.
  5. Organise an event to bring together ecotherapy providers in your area.

Making the case for ecotherapy

Mind has championed the use of ecotherapy as a mental health intervention since 2007, with the publication of our report Ecotherapy – the Green Agenda for Mental Health. Since then, we have built an evidence base detailing the positive benefits of ecotherapy.

> See our full range of ecotherapy reports and resources

To find out more information about how you can get involved, email the Ecominds team at [email protected]

The campaign

Woman crouching in allotment plot holding secateurs and looking at the camera

Mind is making the case for ecotherapy as a public health intervention and mental health treatment.

> More about the campaign

Why ecotherapy?

Man and woman shovelling mulch into bags

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

> The benefits of ecotherapy

Resources

Two men looking at back wheel of bike

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

> Read or download them here

Mental Health A-Z

Information and advice on a huge range of mental health topics

> Read our A-Z

Training

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

> Find out more

Special offers

Check out our promotional offers on print and digital booklets, for a limited time only

> Visit our shop today