The Blue Prescribing Project aims to improve health by harnessing the link between people and nature.
This is a wetland health programme, specifically co-designed and delivered by the Mental Health Foundation and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, to promote a range of mental and physical health benefits through facilitated wetland nature engagement at the London Wetland Centre and a self-management course.
What's the main aim?
To improve mental health by enabling greater access to those that need natural blue and green spaces, using a nature-based self-management programme in London.
Who is the Blue Prescribing Project for?
How does the programme work?
The Blue Prescribing Project (BPP) is delivered in a peer support setting, where people learn how to better self-manage their mental health and engage in activities around wildlife, with the aim of improving participants' self-confidence, overall mental health and developing social connections.
The programme runs for six weeks as a self-management course, where each week aims to build on the previous one. Participants are expected to split their time between an online or face-to-face community of learning, as well as attending in-person nature-based activities at the London Wetland Centre.
Nina - Blue Prescribing Project participant
I think it is a different kind of programme, my self-dignity as a human being was restored. My self-confidence and self-belief was given back to me. My intuition was re-awakened.
Case study: Nina
She was referred to the Blue Prescribing Project as she enjoys being in nature but had stated her need to connect with others in a peer support setting.
Nina has spoken about the Blue Prescribing Project and the tools she has gained since the start of the programme:
It gets better on the Blue Prescribing course, as just in the second week, I was able to learn that triggers are not necessarily a bad thing, but an indication of a need to look at why I feel discomfort about what is coming up for me, and from identifying why, I am then able to deal with it than letting it just trigger and upset me.
Now, anytime a trigger shows up, I don’t let it shape my mood, I don’t run from it, like in the past where I buried my head in the sand and allowed it to change my mood and actions for as long as it went on for.
How to get involved
To be eligible for this programme, participants must be from one of the following at-risk groups: vulnerable single parents, people with long-term health conditions, vulnerable diverse groups or people recovering from long COVID-19.
Anyone eligible can self-refer by sending an email to [email protected]. Social prescribing agencies, link workers, community groups and voluntary organisations can also refer participants via email.