- About Us
Submitted by jim on Thu, 05/10/2012 - 13:23
Last evening, while walking the dog down a forest trail, I had a sense that something wasn’t quite right. After about 15 minutes it finally occurred to me, there were no birds singing. I stopped and with much effort I finally spotted the owl that had silenced all the wildlife. I was so stressed from work that day it took me at least 15 minutes to notice the birds were not singing. We often talk about the restorative benefits of nature, but it also important to remember the learning that comes with spending time in nature. While people of all ages can grow through nature based experiences they are especially powerful for young children in the development of decision making skills and self confidence. Time in nature is important for mental and physical health as well as what Karen Sumner calls a ‘brain boost’.
When I got home from my walk I had a second ‘brain burst’ when I listened to Dr. David Goldbloom talk about A Framework For a Mental Health Strategy For Canada . Both the language and the focus of the document feels like a restorative walk in the woods for what has been loosely called the mental health system. To talk about services that support recovery and quality of life feels very much like a new focus provides people or client starting point that makes enormous sense. To acknowledge that much can be achieved through prevention and the enhancement of support factors such as social support factors feels like a dip in a cold lake. To acknowledge the critical role of the family is very important, not because it is a new finding, but because it will help services to further enable and empower the voice of of family members.
While I do not know for sure that David Goldbloom and the other commission members spent some time in nature when they developed this framework, I do know they did not miss the forest for the trees and probably saw the owl very early on.