Health and Well Being
Forests contribute to the health agenda by providing natural restorative spaces. Studies from many countries, including Australia, Japan, and Sweden have highlighted the contributions of trees, woodlands and green spaces to people’s overall health and well-being. These studies also show that benefits are not confined to those of us who are active in nature. We can also gain simply by looking, even by just looking out the window.
Because the link between walking outdoors and wellbeing is so important, Coillte is delighted to have been able to join forces with the HSE, Mental Health Ireland and See Change to promote positive mental health and wellbeing in the beautiful surrounds of our forests and forest parks all over Ireland.
Coillte have collaborated on a number of projects including the Green Ribbon - Let's Talk & Walk campaign, Mental Health Ireland's Solstice Wellbeing Day and 5000 Steps To Wellbeing and other private and public Coillte events.
Woodlands for Health
Woodlands For Health is an innovative Eco Therapy programme developed by Coillte and prescribed by HSE medical professionals for adult mental health patients to engage them in forest activities to enhance their quality of life.
The programme is based on Branching Out which was successfully applied by the Forestry Commission in Scotland.
In 2012 the first programme commenced in Wicklow and is a partnership between Coillte, HSE/Wicklow Mental Health Service, Mental Health Ireland, Wicklow Mental Health Association, Wicklow Sports Partnership and County Wicklow Partnership.
In 2014 the project was evaluated by the HSE and University College Dublin, which found that participants improved their mood by 75 per cent and sleep by 66 per cent; in addition, their thoughts of suicide declined by 82 per cent.
In 2016 the Wicklow project was adapted by Dun Laoghaire Sports Partnership in collaboration with Coillte and in partnership with HSE/Cluain Mhuire Mental Health Service, Mental Health Ireland, Get Ireland Walking, Sport Ireland and the Dublin Mountains Partnership.
Woodlands For Health is a great example of how the environmental and health sector can work together to benefit participants mental and physical health.
For more information about Woodlands For Health contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Link Irish Times
Link Eco Eye
Let's Talk & Walk Events Promote The Green Ribbon
Coillte is a partner organisation in the Green Ribbon Let’s Talk, Let’s Walk campaign providing its Forest Parks and trails for a national programme of events in collaboration with the IFA, See Change and Mental Health Ireland during the month of May each year since 2013.
The Green Ribbon has been established as the international symbol for mental health awareness and was introduced to Ireland by See Change.
Coillte are pleased that these annual Green Ribbon events providing communities with the opportunity to enjoy two things inherent to us in Ireland….Nature and Talking!
Coillte Promote Mental Health Ireland Initiatives
Coillte have hosted a number of events in partnership with Mental Health Ireland including the "Summer Solstice” and the “5000 Steps To Well-Being".
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We run three high potential businesses, Forestry, Land Solutions and Medite Smartply, which delivered earnings (EBITDA) of €98.3 million in 2016.