BHT Sussex’s Archway project consists of two mental health care homes in Hove that have been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission. The Archway project is currently piloting a Step-Down service which supports people who are clinically ready to leave hospital but require intensive support to do so. This service has just been awarded £4,700 from the National Lottery Community Fund to help transform the project’s garden into a therapeutic space.
Staff, clients, and volunteers plan to work together to develop a sensory space in the garden, planting flowers and shrubs with different textures and fragrances, adding decorative stones for pathways, and creating water features and a vegetable patch. Clients will be able to sit outside and read, listen to music, and connect with nature.
With substantial research proving that gardening has a positive impact on mental health, there is no doubt that the new garden will be a great asset to clients and their recovery. Once it is completed, regular activities will take place in the garden, for example meditation and mindfulness groups, yoga, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy groups.
One of the project’s current clients said:
The new garden project sounds really exciting! I am really looking forward to seeing what it looks like.
Rachael Kenny, Director of Mental Health and Support Services at BHT Sussex, said:
We are really excited about this new service we are running that supports people who may have been staying in hospital for long periods to leave and resettle into their communities. The garden project will be a fantastic addition to the service, and we are grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for making it possible.
The Step-Down service helps people who are clinically ready to be discharged from hospital but who require intensive rehabilitation and support to make the transition and arrange appropriate ongoing support. Many clients are young people who may not have left mental health hospital provision for several years. The aim of the service is to reintegrate clients into the community, teach them new skills and help them to manage their mental health independently.