Allotment Diary

World Mental Health Day and the benefits of gardening

Today is World Mental Health Day, so I thought it’s a good opportunity to talk about gardening and it’s documented benefits on our mental health and the wider world.

What is World Mental Health Day?

…I hear you ask

World Mental Health Day (10 October) is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries.

Documented benefits of Gardening

Gardening and increasing ones exposure to nature as a way to deal with depression, anxiety and stress has gained momentum in recent years.

This study in particular reports that gardening:


  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Mood disturbances
  • Depression
  • Increase in body weight


  • Cognitive function
  • Communication
  • Physical activity

All of the above (I’m sure you’ll agree) can have a knock on effect in improving our lives on a daily basis in both the short and long term for the better.

Lastly, the report highlights that gardening has no baring on social economic status, which literally means it’s good for everyone and accepted by everyone – everywhere.

Because of the studies, like the one mentioned above, the NHS and other health organisations across the globe are adopting non-medical Social Prescriptions to help combat the afore mentioned mental health issues – with gardening being at the forefront of the activities prescribed to patients.

Easy ways you can get into gardening

Visiting your local garden centre having a browse and simply getting ideas about what you would peak your interest is a great start, whether its caring for house plants, growing your own produce or looking after delicate flowers.

Explore your local allotments and community gardens to see if its your kind of thing – and how to get involved. You’ll be surprised what’s out there locally in an area near you.

If you’ve really got the itch – then definitely go out there and buy a pot, some compost (bags come in all sizes these days) and seeds of your choice to sow and watch grow. If you’re too impatient for sowing seeds then it’s totally cool to go out there and plant already grown – whatever tickles your fancy.

If gardening isn’t your thing, getting outdoors can definitely help – look up your local botanical gardens, parks and green spaces and make diary notes to go visit them. There’s a world of wonder out there and it still counts as ‘Garden Therapy’.

Gingers Unite and raising awareness

I found this and couldn’t help but share it – it’s not really gardening related, but it’s good fun.

Fellow red-heads Ed and Harry got together to make this video with the Telegraph to help raise awareness.

Has gardening helped you in some way? I’d love to read your experiences in the comments below 🙂

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