beyondblue is encouraging people to take up gardening or visit green, open spaces, and enjoy the proven psychological benefits such as improvements in mood and lower stress levels. This in turn can help protect against depression and anxiety and help people to recover from them.
Aspiring gardeners will have a chance to take part in fun “blue” gardening events across the country and raise awareness and funds for beyondblue as part of ‘garden RELEAF’ weekend on March 7th and 8th.
People will have a chance to test their green thumbs at events held in independent garden centres across Australia on the weekend, and also enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of gardening.
beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett AC and Board Director and Better Homes and Gardens host, Johanna Griggs are both Ambassadors for the weekend event, promoting the health benefits and satisfaction to be derived from gardening.
Mr Kennett said gardening and enjoying outdoor gardens, participating in community gardening activities and growing food had positive impacts on a person’s health.
“Gardening can improve your wellbeing through increased exercise, more social interaction with other gardeners, and satisfaction as your garden develops,” he said.
beyondblue CEO Georgie Harman said; “Studies that have shown that social and therapeutic horticulture improves wellbeing, and we are thrilled that an event like garden RELEAF not only encourages people to try something new which will be of benefit to their physical and mental health, but also is raising awareness and money for beyondblue.”
beyondblue’s report “Beyond Blue to Green: The benefits of contact with nature for mental health and wellbeing” found experiencing nature in an outdoor environment can help tackle mental health problems, obesity and coronary heart disease. It also found children who spent time in gardens and outdoors had higher levels of self-worth and social, emotional and cognitive development.
The garden RELEAF initiative originated in the UK, where independent garden centres combined to take part in a weekend of events and community activities. This is the first time garden RELEAF will be held in Australia, with more than 100 garden centres participating.
Activities will include “blue” events promoting beyondblue, with displays of blue flowers and decorations, face painting, ‘beyondblue-decorated’ trees and treasure hunts. Mini Gardener sessions will also be held, designed to introduce children to gardening by giving them a plant or flower seedling to take home and grow.
Garden lovers will also be able to see a beyondblue garden at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show on March 25th – 29th, by landscape designer Christian Jenkins.
For more information on events in your area, visit http://gardenreleaf.com.au/events