Patients from CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre Plant Trees for Mental Wellness
In an inspiring collaboration aimed at cultivating mental wellness and creating lasting environmental change, patients and staff from the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Centre (CISSSMC) joined forces with Tree Canada for the second consecutive year. On June 1st, 15 patients and caregivers from the CISSSMC, guided by our forestry specialist for the Montreal region, Soverdi, planted 30 trees in Parc de la Cité in Saint-Hubert, QC. The initiative allowed individuals facing significant challenges to make a meaningful contribution to the community while highlighting the therapeutic benefits of engaging with the environment.
The Importance of Nature on Mental Health
Nature has long been recognized as a source of solace, rejuvenation, and healing. Research has consistently shown that exposure to natural environments can have a positive impact on mental health.
“Being close to a tree and in nature reduces the level of cortisol – the stress hormone –, our heart rate and our blood pressure, and increases our overall well-being. That’s what I wanted our participants to experience,” says Dr. Sandy Perreault, psychiatrist at CISSSMC and member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “I think it’s an affordable, local treatment that is more efficient than many others.”
For patients living with a mental health condition, these benefits can be even more transformative, providing an opportunity to break from their daily routines and experience a sense of belonging and accomplishment.
CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre’s Commitment to the Environment
In the spring of 2022, the CISSSMC adopted a policy on combating and adapting to climate change to accelerate its transition to a greener organization.
The CISSSMC aims to integrate the application of sustainable development principles into its operations and management, to minimize its ecological footprint and promote healthy, safe living and working environments.
Creating a Lasting Impact
Tree Canada is dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians through the planting and nurturing of trees. Our programs not only contribute to the environment but also create social impact by involving various groups in tree planting activities.
Recognizing the potential within each individual, the healthcare institution pioneered this initiative to empower patients and to engage them with the community. “It’s such a nice activity, giving the people we’re helping the opportunity to work together, as a team, on a really meaningful project,” says Dr. Perrault.
This event serves as a powerful reminder that nature has the capacity to heal, inspire, and unite us, fostering a brighter future for both individuals and the planet.
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