By: Laurie Vance, MSW, RSW, Cert. Forest Guide
Investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good for business!
The data tells us 1 in 5 Adults will experience a diagnosable mental illness in any given year and more than 50% of those will go untreated.
Respecting and treating mental illness on par with other medical illnesses like diabetes or heart disease is the first step to improving employee quality of life, which is the foundation of an effective workplace. As a clinical counsellor, I have worked with a global Employee Assistance Provider (EAP), I know full well the harsh impact of work-related stress and in turn the physical, mental, psychological and financial damage that many people experience.
“ In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks” – J. Mui
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a mental and physical response to a perceived threat. In small doses most people can work through things that worry them but over an extended period of time or if the stressor itself is severe in nature, stress and anxiety can become all-consuming.
Symptoms of Anxiety:
Anxiety disorders are associated with poor job productivity, short-and long-term disability and costly indirect workplace loss.
It’s cost effective when employees receive treatment for mental illness, resulting in a decrease in medical costs, increase in productivity, and decreases in absenteeism and disability costs.
The bottom line: Investing in a mentally healthy workforce is good for business.
What can Employers do?
Connecting the Dots
Anxiety can be intensely unpleasant but it doesn’t have to last forever. Successfully maintaining a job is an important part of recovery and well-being and employers can help to facilitate a healthy environment.
At Kelly Mental Health, staff are highly trained in mental health and addictions. On a daily basis, we support individuals working through their experiences of stress and anxiety.
Laurie Vance MSW, RSW and Guide, holds a certification in Nature and Forest Therapy. She received her training in 2016 with the Association of Nature and Forests Therapy Guides and Programs and is passionate about the health and wellness benefits of a Nature and Forest Therapy walk.
Forest Therapy is evidence -based and was developed in Japan in the 1980’s. As a response to people working long hours and caring for extended family, the government begun creating ‘green spaces’ filled with trees, flowers, and running water with the intention of having people slow down from hurried life and take in nature through the senses. As a result, the Japanese coined the phrase Shinrin Yoku, simply translated to Forest Bathing.
Today, Forest Therapy Guides can be found globally in 55 countries, on 6 continents and some 850 strong and growing. Laurie brings a core set of values and principles from her training as a guide to intentionally and mindfully connect her clients into a state of grounding and awareness in the landscape along with the more-than-human world.
Laurie uses a 3-part sequence of invitations, beginning with The Pleasures of Presence, moving to a Liminal space of sensory connection, followed by a Period of Incorporation via a tea ceremony under a tree. This process can take anywhere from a brief one hour walk to a more in-depth 3-hour walk.
Call to Action!
"There is healing in the forests for tired minds and overburdened spirits"
For more information or to schedule a forest therapy session, click the link below.
Written for you, by local therapists.
NWO’s source for all things relationships, mental health, wellness, and lifestyle: Kelly Magazine is a mental health outreach initiative created by Kelly Mental Health and supported by Kelly Mental Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the community in the area of mental health.
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