There’s a lot to be said about the healing power of nature, and Canadian doctors are prescribing it as a way to treat patients.
According to CNN, doctors in Canada are handing out free passes to state parks to help sick patients.
Once again, Canada has taken a huge positive leap in the mental health & wellness world👏🏾.— Spa Day Every Day (@spadayeveryday) February 20, 2022
In November 2020, BC Parks Foundation launched PaRx, Canada’s first nature prescription service and educational resource 😄. pic.twitter.com/IH3ejl5KhQ
CNN reports it’s part of BC’s Parks Foundation PaRX Foundation, which hopes to improve people’s physical and mental health by connecting them with nature.
“We do have a standard recommendation that you spend at least two hours in nature each week and at least 20 minutes each time to maximize those health benefits,” PaRx director and family physician Dr. Melissa Lem told CNN. “There’s almost no condition that nature isn’t good for, from diabetes to high blood pressure. ADHD in children, anxiety and depression.”
The PaRX Foundation has partnered with Parks Canada Agency and allows doctors to prescribe Parks Canada Discovery Passes to their patients, reports CNN. The pass gives patients admission to 80 sites, including national parks, marine conservation areas, and historic places throughout Canada.
“We are very lucky in Canada to have a world of beautiful natural spaces at our doorstep to enjoy healthy outdoor activities,” Steven Guilbeault, minister of Environment and Climate Change, said in a press release reported by CNN. “This exciting collaboration with PaRx is a breakthrough for how we treat mental and physical health challenges, and couldn’t come at a better time as we continue to grapple with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our daily lives.”