Kevin Stewart MSP marks World Mental Health day at Cyrenians community
Homelessness charity Cyrenians welcomed Kevin Stewart, minister for mental wellbeing and social care, to the Royal Edinburgh Hospital Community Gardens this week to help mark World Mental Health Day on October 10.
The Edinburgh-based charity tackles the causes and consequences of homelessness by offering support for people currently experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness.
Their community gardens projects offer mental health support to patients and the local community by providing therapeutic green spaces and wellbeing activities year-round.
Kevin Stewart MSP was invited to meet with the organisation to learn about their approach to supporting the mental wellbeing of patients of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital through ward based and in-garden activities.
Representatives from Cyrenians, NHS Lothian, Edinburgh + Lothian Health Foundation and Green Exercise partnership joined on the day, showcasing the power of partnership working to provide long-term support for those who need it most.
Lucy Holroyd, Cyrenians service manager, said: “The gardens are a wonderful safe haven in the heart of the city that provide direct support to patients in the hospital, many of whom are currently participating in long-term health care.
“The gardens complement the ward setting, offering opportunities to reconnect with others and with nature, build new relationships, and in some cases spark a passion for gardening and wildlife beyond their hospital stay, all of which aids long-term recovery, and promotes wellbeing. The work in the gardens is part of Cyrenians wide ranging work preventing homelessness.
“We were delighted to welcome Mr Stewart to our gardens. We hope, like with all our visitors, his time in the garden offered a welcome change of pace from the hustle and bustle of life.”
Kevin Stewart added: “I had the great pleasure of visiting the Community Gardens and was incredibly impressed with the commitment from Cyrenians to working in close partnership with both the Royal Edinburgh hospital and the wider community that has turned this garden into such an important resource to support people’s wellbeing. Thank you to everyone involved.”