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      Gardening in Displacement: The Benefits of Cultivating in Crisis

      1 , 2 , 3
      Journal of Refugee Studies
      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          While the benefits of gardening to mental health and trauma recovery are well documented, and a number of voluntary organizations have been involved in developing gardens with refugees, as yet there is no clear mandate to allow and mainstream gardening in large-scale refugee camps. This article argues for the importance of this in the planning of camps on the basis that many crises are indeed protracted, that refugees often stay in camps for tens of years rather than months and that gardening has significant environmental, psychological and social benefits, as well as contributing to food sovereignty and sustainable drainage. Drawing on interviews with residents of a refugee camp in northern Iraq, all participants in a camp-based garden competition in 2016 and 2017, this article illustrates the benefits of gardening and argues for their sustained inclusion in camp design.

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          Most cited references9

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          Gardening as a mental health intervention: a review

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            The Biophilia Hypothesis and Life in the 21st Century: Increasing Mental Health or Increasing Pathology?

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              A prospective study of group cohesiveness in therapeutic horticulture for clinical depression.

              This study aimed to assess changes in psychological distress and social participation in adults diagnosed with clinical depression during and after participating in a therapeutic horticulture programme, and to investigate if the changes covaried with levels of group cohesiveness during the intervention. An intervention with a single-group design was repeated with different samples in successive years (pooled n = 46). In each year, five groups of 3-7 participants went through the intervention. Data were collected before, twice during, and immediately after a 12-week therapeutic horticulture programme, as well as at 3-months' follow up. Mental health assessments included the Beck Depression Inventory, the State Subscale of Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Positive Affect Scale from the Positive and Negative Affect Scale, the Perceived Stress Scale, and the Therapeutic Factors Inventory-Cohesiveness Scale. The analysis of the pooled data confirmed significant beneficial change in all mental health variables during the intervention. Change from baseline in depression severity persisted at 3-months' follow up. Increased social activity after the intervention was reported for 38% of the participants. The groups quickly established strong cohesiveness, and this continued to increase during the intervention. The average level of group cohesiveness correlated positively, but not significantly, with change in all mental health outcome variables. © 2011 The Authors. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing © 2011 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Refugee Studies
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0951-6328
                1471-6925
                September 2019
                September 01 2019
                July 18 2018
                September 2019
                September 01 2019
                July 18 2018
                : 32
                : 3
                : 351-371
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute of Development Studies, Sussex; Lemon Tree Trust, Lewes, United Kingdom
                [2 ]Southern Methodist University, Dallas; Lemon Tree Trust, Lewes, United Kingdom
                [3 ]Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom
                Article
                10.1093/jrs/fey033
                f67b1dbe-a0de-4f00-a397-e9d3864816cd
                © 2018

                https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model

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