JBH Healing Garden Enhances Mental Health and Addiction Care

By Staff

May 19th, 2023



The Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) has transformed a courtyard outside its Mental Health and Addictions Unit into a healing garden to improve the care experience for patients.

The project was a collaborative effort by the hospital’s clinical and redevelopment teams, and JBH’s Mental Health and Addictions Patient Family Advisory Council (MHA PFAC).

“We believe the garden allows us to provide an enhanced level of person-centred care. We always strive to meet the care needs each person on an individual level,” said Jack Mahoney, a Recreational Therapist who works in the inpatient unit.

“Having the garden available to our patient population allows us to tap into this set of interests in a meaningful way. In the process of empowering the population we serve; the garden provides an opportunity for a sense of autonomy among our clients pertaining the space they occupy.”

Jack Mahony: Recreational Therapist who works in Joseph Brant Hospital’s Mental Health and Addictions inpatient unit.

The new healing gardens creates an environment that promotes wellness and provides patients with an opportunity to engage in goal-oriented activities. Last summer patients grew tomatoes, zucchinis, radishes, chard, marigolds, kale, chives and cabbages. The space also features a gazebo with seating for relaxation and socializing, a calming water feature and benches, as well as plants that are indigenous to the area.

The MHA PFAC, an advisory council that was established in keeping with JBH’s commitment to patient and family engagement, made the recommendation to build the garden as part of its role to enhance patient-centred care at the hospital.

“The recent project to convert the courtyard into a healing garden is a great example of volunteers and hospital staff working together,” said John Reynolds, Chair of the MHA PFAC. “We felt it was vital to the recovery of patients to have access a natural setting and the message of hope it provides.”

Joseph Brant Hospital’s Mental Health Services program provides a Full-Continuum Model of Care, planned and designed according to needs of the patients in our community and in alignment with provincial and regional mental health priorities and directives.

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