Nature as Therapist: Our NAMI MN 2019 Panel

News entry posted on November 5, 2019
At the annual National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI MN) conference, "Advancing Equity," Tom Bezek, Shin-rin Yoku Forest Guide, and I facilitated a session titled "Nature as Therapist: The Healing Power of Mindful Forest Bathing." 
    
A description of our break-out session follows:

The presenters will discuss the importance of a journey away from a chaotic world of details, multi-tasking, stressful obligations, smartphones and noisy machines; to a place that is unspoiled, untamed, and free. Shinrin-Yoku/Forest Bathing is a nature-based mindfulness practice that is an innovative and evidence-based wellness activity. Patients, practitioners, and caregivers in the mental health community need to learn ways to keep ourselves healthy in order to effectively sustain care-receiving and caregiving efforts. Forest Bathing is a non-threatening organic practice that has roots and foundations as old as the human species. It is also “free” and readily available/accessible to almost everyone.


The conference, as always, highlighted the latest and most significant ways to support people of diverse backgrounds who have mental illness and who thrive via their own self-care strategies and with the support of their allies.