Exploring the nurturing effects of nature on mental health

Published on 4 January 2024

Melissa Marselle (ACCESS Co-Investigator)  was recently interviewed in Nature Mental Health. In this article she talks about the nurturing effects of nature on mental health.

It’s a great quick read explaining what work is happening in this field of environmental social science.

“Growing urbanization is a threat to both mental health and biodiversity. The UN estimates that almost 70% of people will live in urban areas by 2050, so action is needed to reduce future risks to both people and nature. Urban nature-based solutions, such as planting street trees or creating parks, might be a preventive measure to tackle mental health challenges while also mitigating climate change and biodiversity loss.”

Melissa talks about her work and others. She looks at how increased use of green social prescriptions in the UK (or Park Rx in the USA) has moved the field to ask questions about exposure (for example, dose) and experience —such as how much contact with nature is needed for the mental health benefits, and what kinds of experiences of nature (through which sense, alone or with others, indirectly versus directly) can influence these benefits.

Read more

Also view Melissa’s webinar ‘The Behaviour Change Wheel to biodiversity policy’