Mayo Clinic defines PTSD as a mental health condition that’s triggered by a traumatic event, such as assault, rape or combat exposure. Nearly 30 percent of the 834,463 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan treated by the Department of Veteran's Affairs are treated for PTSD, and this is just the number of veterans who seek help.
How Nature Helps
Nature calms us. Nature restores us. For some of the most traumatized among us, including veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, nature can be a critical component in their healing process. Gardening in hospitals, working the land at a farm, or spending time camping and fishing are all ways that veterans use nature to help ease their transition back to civilian life.
Explore More Resources:
“The Use of Horticulture in the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Private Practice Setting,” Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, 2011
"An Evaluation of the Gardening Leave Project for Ex-Military Personnel with PTSD and Other Combat Related Mental Health Problems," Glasgow University, 2009
“The Effectiveness of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy for Post-traumatic Headaches,”
Brain Injury, 2005
Healing Gardens: Therapeutic Benefits and Design Recommendations, Marcus and Barnes, 1999
PTSD - Veterans Affairs
Therapeutic Landscape Network
Farmer Veteran Coalition
Wounded Warriors in Action
Project Healing Waters
Outward Bound – Veterans
The American Horticultural Therapy Association
Role of the Landscape Architect
Landscape architects, like Jinny Blom, ASLA, design therapeutic landscapes with the power to heal. She is on the board of the Therapeutic Landscape Network and works with veterans returning from the war in Afghanistan. She says, “The earth does neutralize a lot of human anxiety.”
The Walter Reed Green Road has been designed with intimate spaces for commemoration and storytelling, all within a natural wooded environment.
Directory of Healthcare Gardens
Walter Reed Green Road, Bethesda, Maryland Alt Architecture + Research Associates