Prescribing Nature for Health
Handing out a prescription to nature... It's happening! Can you believe it? Here at Wilderness Youth Project we have known that nature connection makes life better for kids. Time in nature makes kids happier and healthier. You can imagine how thrilled we are that this is being recognized by our local medical community. We are thrilled to share that we have been selected to provide evidence-based interventions that prevent, treat, and heal the harmful consequences of toxic stress.
Sound familiar? You may remember this topic from our blog on Adverse Childhood Experiences & Stress Busters.
Cottage Health, on behalf of Pediatric Resiliency Collaborative and Resilient Santa Barbara County, received a grant from the state’s ACEs Aware initiative to support the Santa Barbara County Network of Care. The ACEs Aware initiative is a first-in-the nation effort led by the California Department of Health Care Services and the Office of the California Surgeon General. ACEs Aware seeks to screen patients for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in an effort to prevent and address the impact of ACEs and toxic stress. ACEs refers to traumatic events, such as abuse, neglect or household challenges, that are experienced before the age of 18.
As a grant recipient, Wilderness Youth Project will provide services in response to referrals from pediatric clinics screening for ACEs. Families will be referred to our Bridge to Nature programs and scholarship opportunities that offer nature experiences for children and youth in small group settings to deepen relationships with self, others, and mentors as well as facilitate child-centered nature exploration, skill-building games, and storytelling.
The Healing Power of Nature
One of our favorite videos on this topic features Dr. Nooshin Razani talking about the healing power of nature as well as why it is her mission to prescribe time in nature as a way to treat health conditions. Watch Dr. Razani's talk to learn how and why nature can be an essential part of healthy living.
Dr. Razani is the Director of the Center for Nature & Health, conducting research and advocacy for nature as a public health priority. We can get behind that!
Prescriptions to nature aren’t an entirely new idea. If you want to learn more, watch this 9 minute PBS special, “Why doctors are increasingly prescribing nature.”
2021-2022 Cottage Health Network of Care Buffering Services Grantees
We are proud to be awarded alongside the following organizations who were all selected to provide evidence-based interventions that prevent, treat, and heal the harmful consequences of toxic stress.
- Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (CADA) – Parenting Together and Raising Children with Pride programs provide culturally relevant parenting skills training in English and Spanish.
- Carpinteria Children’s Project – Family Strengthening field trips for children and parents and Promotores-led family classes encourage physical activity, strengthen parenting skills, and foster supportive relationships.
- Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley – Nurturing Skills for Families and Project Parent classes teach parents skills to increase balance and well-being.
- Family Service Agency – Educational classes are offered for parents in English and Spanish, and a home visitation program enhances supportive relationships.
- Harding School Foundation – Friendship Social Support Groups at Harding and Monroe Elementary Schools support students in need of additional social-emotional learning as well as classes and workshops for parents and a Youth Mental Health First Aid course.
- Isla Vista Youth Projects – Parenting classes, conducted in Spanish, provide education on child development, communication skills, and positive discipline, and grandparenting classes support non-custodial grandparents or children ages 0 – 5.
- Wilderness Youth Project – Bridge to Nature offers nature experiences for children and youth in small group settings to deepen relationships with self, others, and mentors as well as facilitate child-centered nature exploration, skill-building games, and storytelling.
You can help too!
Did you know that 70% of our WYP kids qualify for full or partial scholarships based on family income?
While it may feel like nature is all around us, many kids lack access to the outdoors. Your support helps WYP connect kids from all backgrounds to Santa Barbara’s natural beauty. Thanks to support from people like you and our WYP community, we are able to provide scholarships to nearly 1,000 youth each year.