The Green Prescription scores high on evaluation!

The findings from an evaluation of Donegal's Green Prescription programme will be launched on 27 February in Letterkenny. The evaluation highlights the health benefits of the programme, as well as feedback from health professionals and community groups on how the Green Prescription supports their work.

The Green Prescription is the first of its kind in Ireland and involves a GP or health professional's referral of patients to free, guided community walks. People can also self refer to the programme.  The Green Prescription is based on the idea that physical activity in nature results in positive outcomes for both physical and mental health.

Key findings from the evaluation include:

·       Participants in the Green Prescription programme experienced health benefits such as reduced blood pressure; weight reduction; increased physical activity levels; improvements in mental wellbeing; reduced reliance on medications; and improved sleep.

·       Health professionals believed the programme provided an alternative and complimentary means of treating many health conditions resulting from physical inactivity and overweight.

·       Community groups reported that the Green Prescription improved social connections in the community and helped engage 'hard to reach' community members, as well as building up a greater awareness of the benefits of nature and green exercise.

The Green Prescription Evaluation findings will be launched by Dr. Nazih Eldin (HSE National Lead on Obesity) on Thursday 27 February at 12.30pm in the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny. To attend, RSVP to lynda.mcguinness@hse.ie

The Green Prescription programme was developed by the HSE in partnership with local doctors and local communities, Get Ireland Active, the Irish Heart Foundation, Donegal Road Safety Working Group and Donegal Sports Partnership. The Green Prescription programme is based on the idea that physical activity in nature results in positive outcomes for both physical and mental health. The programme aims to prevent and tackle overweight and obesity, while also promoting health and quality of life.

If you would like to get involved in the Green Prescription programme, contact the Green Prescription Support Worker, Bill Vaughan, on 087-3680033.

Last updated on: 11 / 02 / 2014