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Using engagement in sustainable construction to improve mental health and social connection in disadvantaged and hard to reach groups: a new green care approach

Jason Davies Orcid Logo, Mark McKenna, Jon Bayley, Kate Denner, Hayley Young

Journal of Mental Health, Volume: 29, Issue: 3, Pages: 350 - 357

Swansea University Authors: Jason Davies Orcid Logo, Hayley Young

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Abstract

BackgroundThe positive impact of the outdoors on physical and mental health is increasingly being evidenced. However the impact on vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals engaging in group based sustainable building construction has not been examined.AimsTo provide the first pragmatic examination o...

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Published in: Journal of Mental Health
ISSN: 0963-8237 1360-0567
Published: Informa UK Limited 2020
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa52546
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Abstract: BackgroundThe positive impact of the outdoors on physical and mental health is increasingly being evidenced. However the impact on vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals engaging in group based sustainable building construction has not been examined.AimsTo provide the first pragmatic examination of the impact of engaging in a brief (eight days over eight weeks) outdoor sustainable construction project on the mental health and social connectedness of hard to reach and disadvantaged groups. MethodIn study 1, 93 young people not in education, employment or training took part whilst study 2 comprised 55 adults who were asylum seekers, long term unemployed or men with longstanding depression. Self report data were collected at baseline and towards the end of the programme.Results Those with poor mental health and social connection at baseline showed statistically and clinically significant improvements in depression, anxiety, resilience and social connection by the end of the brief intervention.ConclusionsEngagement in a group based sustainable construction project can provide significant mental health and social benefits to a range of vulnerable and hard to reach groups with difficulties in these areas. Building on these findings could be important for health and social care policy for marginalised groups.
Keywords: sustainable construction; mental health; social connection; vulnerable groups; green care; wellbeing
College: College of Human and Health Sciences
Issue: 3
Start Page: 350
End Page: 357