Tony web
It's predicted that 1 in 4* of us experience mental health challenges of some kind, each year.

The current cost-of living-crisis is mounting pressure on us all and will undoubtedly lead to increased anxiety for many households. Seeking support is not always easy, but the 1.6 million people now on the waiting list for treatment from mental health services plus the further 8 million who are considered to be not unwell enough to be on the list, could benefit from services such as Thrive. We need your support now, to share the benefits and impact of Social and Therapeutic Horticulture (STH).

Since childhood, Tony has lived with severe and complex OCD, depression and anxiety that completely took over life. His intrusive obsessions and somewhat controlling thoughts around cleanliness, had left him feeling reliant on medication and lengthy visits to psychologists, something he no longer wanted to depend on.

By donating today, you’ll be helping Thrive to support people living with the challenges of mental ill health. We know that STH is a powerful tool for those experiencing such challenges, including depression, anxiety, and Obsessional Compulsive Disorder (OCD). But we need you to be able to provide life changing interventions in our gardens. Tony’s experience shows just how life changing STH can be.

I wouldn’t sleep at night because I was constantly worrying about dripping taps. I’d go check and check and check because I just thought the worst would happen

Your donation will help other people to face challenges of mental ill health with gardening

Donate now

Tony felt that clinical interventions, cognitive and art therapies weren’t enough for him to be free of the shadows he felt followed him around. Fortunately, Tony found Thrive.

He enrolled onto Growing Out, a programme developed by Thrive for adults experiencing mental ill health. With the support and careful planning of activities by trained STH Practitioners, Tony was able to use activities like potting and mulching to improve his health and promote wellbeing. He found the garden a calming place where intrusive thoughts were replaced by positive ones.

It might be surprising that with Tony’s experiences of OCD around cleanliness, being surrounded by so much soil and dirt could have been a trigger, but it wasn’t. Thrive’s STH Practitioners worked with Tony to face his challenges and empower him to use horticulture to manage and escape invasive thoughts. The sensory nature of the garden meant that Tony was fully occupied and immersed with processing his environment, demonstrating how a garden’s rich sensory intake can help replace a negative mindset and build a positive one.

Tony began to realise the positive impact that the garden was having on his mental health and with his newfound freedom, he’s now been able to find further avenues to maintain his mental health and wellbeing, including enjoying a dog walk.

I couldn’t believe in a million years that I’d be picking up dog poo. [And] there’s no point to having a dog if you won’t let it lick your face. I don’t care now. It’s worth it

We can only continue to promote STH and its positive impact with your help. By donating today, you’ll be enabling more people to benefit from the power of gardening and be helping Thrive to continue to provide valuable programmes like Growing Out.

*McManus, S. , Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England: results of a household survey. Leeds, UK: Health and Social Care Information Centre.

Support people like Tony

Donate now
Tony web1