Brief description of the project
|The project aims to create a restorative therapeutic garden in the courtyard of the Hospital to enable patients to spend time in the open air, as being a safe environment, with calming effects and documented benefits for their psychic health. The concept of therapeutic garden was developed in England and Commonwealth countries for fulfilling the physical, psychological, social and emotional needs of the persons using the garden. The therapeutic gardens are facilities for therapeutic treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. They are developed in homes for the elderly, as care for people with dementia (Alzheimer’s). Therapeutic Gardens are specialized according to the purpose for which they are designed, considering the needs, the diseases and the disabilities of their beneficiaries.
The therapeutic gardens for people suffering from mental illness – called restorative gardens – are designed to serve the following purposes: to facilitate networking, the expressive feeling of space, to reduce the emptiness of time, to create ambiance for the simple joy of the moment, to calm, to stimulate sensorial (visual, olfactory, tactile), to reduce the psychomotor agitation and the stereotyped movements, to reduce anxiety. By using the therapeutic garden is encouraged the outdoor movement, it facilitates communication and cooperation of the patient, because the time spent outdoors breaks the monotony of the hospital routine. The plants in these gardens, the herbs that create the olfactory harmony – lavender, mint, basil, eucalyptus, sage, chamomile (garnet), citronella (lemon balm)- are selected precisely because of their effects upon the mental state healing.
The Association of ‘’Dr. Gh. Preda’’ Psychiatry Hospital, Sibiu
- Increasing the quality of life for the patients in the closed wards, by giving them the opportunity to spend time outdoors in a safe environment, arranged as a therapeutic garden, with beneficial effects on health;
- Developing the Ergo-therapy Department by revaluating the gardening as a traditional activity for ergo-therapy;
- Improving the appearance of the Hospital by arranging outdoor spaces according to the patients’ needs of rehabilitation and leisure, in pleasant and supportive environments.
Internal and external environment of a hospital influences the healing process: the hospitalization period is better perceived as the environment is more attractive, orderly and pleasant.
Positive changes in this environment influence the mental health care in Sibiu region, both by improving the appearance of treatment facilities by achieving an appropriate standard of working environment, and especially by reducing the stigma associated with mental illness climate and Psychiatric Hospital.
This therapeutic garden has beneficial effects for all patients – from closed and open wards, as well as from the mental health center. The greenhouse will be efficiently used, by replanting and seedling. The ergo-therapy activities are conducted in the morning. The patients from the closed wards can enjoy the benefits of garden in the afternoons when the routine does not include other activities.
Other benefits of gardening, teamwork and outdoor activities are:
• Establishing a connection with the natural habitat;
• Growing potential to trust the community;
• Develop healthier basis of the concept of control;
• Fostering accountability and responsability;
• Improving self-image and self-esteem.
As a conclusion, this project aims to improve the appearance of the Hospital by arranging the outdoor spaces according to the patients’ needs of rehabilitation and leisure. Pleasant and supportive environments are important in order to remove the prejudice and the stigma associated with mental illness climate .
Psychiatric Hospital will become a pleasant and friendly place. The adequate facilities will be available for the people who need mental health care, for their families and for our community. Psychiatric Hospital will reach the European standards, focused on patient as the most important person for all people involved in the medical, therapeutic and social activities. .
This therapeutic garden is a new initiative in our region and we hope it will be the begining of a beautiful approach for more organizations and communities involved in medical and social sphere.