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Wanted: Participants for nature therapy study

A new research project is looking for participants to explore the benefits of nature in managing depression.

Virtain Torisevanjärven rauhaa aivan 66-tien vieressä.
Image: Yle / Jouni Tanninen

Many people know that spending time in the forest is beneficial for body and mind. A new research study is setting out to see how nature therapy can best be used to manage depression.

The universities of Tampere and Jyväskylä will conduct the study funded by Kela, the national social insurance agency, to examine how nature and the support of a group can help in the rehabilitation and recovery from depression. As part of the study, free nature therapy groups will be held in August and next April.

Organisers are looking for participants who suffer from depression, mainly those of working age, to take part. Those interested can send an email to: jane-veera.paakkolanvaara(at)tuni.fi.

Rising popularity of 'forest bathing'

Previous studies on the topic have have been carried out in Finland, for example, by professor Liisa Tyrväinen of the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and the Sipoo health centre, which carried out a project in 2015-2016 that took people suffering from Type 2 diabetes or mild depression into natural environments as part of their treatment and found that it had a positive impact on their medical conditions.

On the international scene, forest bathing, that is taking time out to slow down and connect with nature, is popular in Japan.

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