Horticultural therapy is a time-proven practice. The therapeutic benefits of garden environments have been documented since ancient times. In the 19th century, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and recognized as the “Father of American Psychiatry,” was first to document the positive effect working in the garden had on individuals with mental illness.
In the 1940s and 1950s, rehabilitative care of hospitalized war veterans significantly expanded acceptance of the practice. No longer limited to treating mental illness, horticultural therapy practice gained in credibility and was embraced for a much wider range of diagnoses and therapeutic options. Today, horticultural therapy is accepted as a beneficial and effective therapeutic modality. It is widely used within a broad range of rehabilitative, vocational, and community settings.
Military Outreach USA partners with community garden clubs, the Chicago Botanic Garden and VA Medical Centers in helping to develop Horticultural Therapy programs not only for Veterans but for their Caregivers as well.
Contact Military Outreach USA at HT@militaryoutreachusa.org to learn more about how you can develop a program within your community.