Masterton W, Park K, Carver H & Parkes T (2021) Greenspace programmes for mental health: A survey study to test what works, for whom, and in what circumstances. Health and Place, 72, Art. No.: 102669. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102669
The health benefits of greenspace are widely acknowledged. Greenspace programmes, defined as health programmes undertaken in outside green areas such as parks, gardens, hills, and forests, are becoming more commonplace. However, there is still limited understanding of the mechanisms by which greenspace programmes are effective. This makes future development and implementation very difficult. We recently developed and published a novel framework for greenspace programmes for mental health showing what works, for whom, and in what circumstances (Masterton et al., 2020). In this current study, the accuracy of the proposed framework was tested for the first time using primary data from greenspace organisations in Scotland. Given the link between mental health and substance use, the applicability of the framework to programmes that support people with problem substance use was also tested. A survey was designed to test the contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes identified within the previously proposed framework. The survey was completed by 64 participants to provide a general overview of the framework's applicability for programmes that support mental health, as well as for programmes that support people with problem substance use. Overall, respondents agreed with all survey statements. This suggests that the framework does effectively represent the underlying context, mechanism, outcome configurations of greenspace programmes for mental health. Furthermore, there were no differences between responses from organisations that support people with problem substance use, and organisations that do not support this client group. This shows that the framework has the potential to be applicable to both greenspace programmes for mental health and greenspace programmes for people with problem substance use. This is a novel finding as, to our knowledge, there is currently no framework looking to explain the contexts, mechanisms, and outcomes necessary for greenspace programmes to be successful for people with problem substance use.
Substance use; Greenspace; Intervention development; Mental health
Health and Place: Volume 72