News

Growing the impact of nature on health – research and survey

Section: Health and Social Care IntegrationPolicy into PracticeSelf Management and Co-Production HubThe ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 20th July 2021

Call for responses to a new survey exploring the contribution, delivery and commissioning of nature based health activities in Scotland.

The idea that engagement with nature can have a significant positive impact on the wellbeing of people experiencing mental and physical health problems is far from new and there is a growing evidence base which demonstrates the impact that engagement with nature can have on improving health and wellbeing, both informally or as part of a programme of treatment.

The provision and promotion of nature based health activities has also continued to increase, and COVID-19 has turbo-charged public interest in the field as people have sought solace through nature for the anxiety, fear and boredom they have experienced.

Recognising this the ALLIANCE has commissioned research from Nick Hopkins Consulting to look at key questions facing those who want to grow the impact of engagement with nature on the nation’s health.

As a part of this research, a survey has been developed which is aimed at those who support the delivery and commissioning of, and referral to, engagement with nature.

The research will:

  • Seek to paint a picture of the variety and spread of nature based health activities in Scotland, capturing the diversity of people who are its focus- and who deliver the work, and of the range of activities that come under the heading.
  • Explore the views of those delivering nature based activities, health practitioners, policy makers and commissioners on:
    • The contribution that engagement with nature and nature based health activities can make to supporting mental and physical health and wellbeing alongside other interventions.
    • Whether a growth agenda or step change is needed in relation to the funding, promotion and delivery of nature based health activities.
    • What the barriers to any such growth agenda or step change might be, in terms of culture, practice, funding, knowledge and capacity, and the need for inclusivity and appropriate targeting.
    • How such barriers might be overcome.
  • Make recommendations about how the field might move forward in the context of the urgent need to build back better after the pandemic.

How to get involved

This research is made up of four surveys targeted at different stakeholders who support the delivery and commissioning of, and referral to, engagement with nature.

Survey One (this link will take you away from our website) is targeted at people who work to encourage people to engage with nature to improve and sustain their health and wellbeing, who deliver or oversee the delivery of nature based activities aimed at improving health and wellbeing, or who provide what is often called ‘nature therapy’ in one of its guises.

Survey Two (this link will take you away from our website) and Survey Three (this link will take you away from our website) are targeted at health and social care professionals, the former for people focused on mental health, the latter for people focused on physical health- if you work across both, feel to choose either.

Survey Four (this link will take you away from our website) is targeted at people with policy making or commissioning responsibilities.

The surveys will be open until Friday 20th August, please just click on the relevant link to access the one most relevant to you. They should take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete.

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