Joe Munson, Ph.D., LMHC, the Clinical Service Director of UF Health Psychiatric Hospital was awarded a Special Projects grant by the UF Medical Guild to provide Therapeutic Horticulture to the patients the UF Health Psychiatric Hospital. In partnership with Wilmot Gardens, the staff will be able to utilize this project to assist patients suffering of mental illnesses and improve lives through engaging with horticulture.
The plan is to provide Therapeutic Horticulture services to three hundred patients through group activities on site; facilitating the positive effects of the interaction with plants on physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual health. “We initially looked into this program and partnership with Wilmot Gardens as a 3-tiered approach to wellness; one of the components being the beautification of our patient patio areas, another was offering our staff an employee wellness program, and the last one was providing additional therapeutic programming for our patients”, says Dr. Munson.
One of the largest challenges Dr. Munson had while writing the proposal for the grant was prioritizing the focus of the project. “We wanted to be able to have the largest impact within our facility and to do this we believed that increasing our patient care programming would provide the best outcomes”, says Dr. Munson.