Incorporating the natural world into the healing environment bolsters mental and physical wellness.
To meet the urgent need for a designated outdoor space for patients and their families, Mayanei Hayeshua is planning to open a Therapeutic Park – a unique “healing garden” that will incorporate the natural world into the healing environment. This exciting new addition to the hospital campus will also serve recreational needs and provide a welcome distraction from the indoor hospital atmosphere.
Mayanei Hayeshua is following the example of leading hospitals worldwide that recognize the power of nature to promote psychological well-being and enhance the healing process. The Therapeutic Park will occupy an area of 3,000 square meters, divided into different areas such as a special medicinal plant garden, an orchard with trees and foliage, an ornamental fishpond, and play facilities for the enjoyment of hospitalized children.
The park will stimulate the senses through a variety of visual and sensory means. Large grassy areas and a refreshing pool of water are designed to inspire maximum calmness and peacefulness.
The park will be fully wheelchair accessible, and fitness apparatus will be located throughout the park. A designated children’s area will be adapted to their needs. A special bridge will provide quick and easy access to and from the hospital buildings.
Professor Rael Strous, the medical director of Mayanei Hayeshua’s Mental Health Center, says that the therapeutic benefits of gardening have been recognized for hundreds of years. “Children always look happy when they’re playing in the dirt. There is something about contact with soil that releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, helps reduce stress and anxiety levels, lowers depression levels, eases agitation and restlessness, improves the ability to concentrate, reduces self-harming tendencies, and soothes the soul. As the plants grow, so too will the mental wellness of our patients. Hospital patients and visitors are often exposed to beeps and alarms, complex medical equipment, blank walls, and worries about sickness. Our Therapeutic Park will provide a respite from these stressful stimuli.”
Detailed architectural plans for the Therapeutic Park and bridge have been completed and approved by the hospital’s consultants and the Jewish National Fund (JNF). All the necessary approvals and permits have been obtained from Bnei Brak municipality, paving the way for an early commencement of the construction phase.