Members of Step Up come from a variety of different backgrounds, but the recovery-oriented services offered are the same – they focus on the strengths of the individual, promoting collaboration and autonomy. One of the key factors associated with recovery from mental health issues is the phenomenon of hope – anticipation of a future which is good, a sense of personal competence, well-being, purpose and meaning in life, a sense of “the possible”.
There appears to be an intrinsic relationship between nature and hope. A floral arranging class was recently conducted at Step Up by volunteer facilitator Jill Bogan and staff. Jill brought in a variety of chrysanthemums and lemon leaf. The purple and yellow elements introduced participants to the concept of complimentary colors. The beautiful natural elements in the flower arranging class helped participants experience:
- Ecotherapy – Exposure to nature as a form or component of psychotherapy.
- Biofilia – a love of life and the living world; the affinity of human beings for other life forms.
- Cognitive benefits of enhanced mood and improved concentration.
- Social nature of the creative group.
- Focus on skills and aspirations rather than symptoms and deficits.
- Positive behavior through a valued opportunity.
Participants enjoyed Jill and the flower arranging class tremendously saying,
“The floral arranging class was very therapeutic and made me happy.” said Step Up member Juan C.
“I thought it was great, it was a good way of expressing how I feel non-verbally. I enjoyed it a lot.” added Dana L.
“It was fun and interesting. I got to be an artist.” concluded Stephen H.
There may be something in nature associated with providing hope and this might, ultimately, be the most beneficial aspect of this type of class! Thank you Jill Bogan!