Plans afoot for nature to boost our health
A NEW plan which aims to make the South Downs National Park a ‘natural health service’ for the South East has been launched.
Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, the national park’s first health and wellbeing strategy sets out a bold vision to connect more people with nature to help improve both mental and physical health.
The plans include working with GPs, healthcare and community-based providers to deliver more opportunities for ‘green social prescribing’.
Sometimes called community referrals, a GP or social prescriber may refer a patient for non-clinical services that boost health, such as walking or cycling in the South Downs, becoming involved in arts based activities or surveying wildlife.
Kate Drake, health and wellbeing officer, said: ‘We’ve only really scratched the surface of what the South Downs National Park can offer as part of a natural health service and that’s why our first health and wellbeing strategy is so important.’