Nature Referrals

Nature Referrals

Pioneering research, feasibility, and implementation of Nature Referrals in South Africa. 

Nature Referrals are a form of “social prescribing” that supports health professionals in linking people from primary care, social care or other referral routes to nature-based activities and organisations to promote a range of health outcomes for optimal wellbeing.

These “green prescriptions”, or nature referrals, are gaining increasing attention in various parts of the world.  The process usually consists of a network of relationships throughout a community to link an individual with tailored, nature-allied services that are not constrained by eligibility or criteria within the formal healthcare system. A Nature Referral is a complementary intervention which can meet the needs of chronic and long-term conditions that are not always effectively addressed or resolved with allelopathic medicine and other conventional healthcare.

Growing global research shows that nature plays a key role in protecting and promoting wellness – keeping us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy.  

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Nature Referral

Source: Leavell et al 2019. Nature-Based Social Prescribing in Urban Settings to Improve Social Connectedness and Mental Well-being: a Review

Global research shows that nature plays a key role in protecting and promoting wellness – keeping us emotionally, psychologically, and physically healthy.  

 This is especially important in the wake of Covid-19, where we are witnessing a wave of adverse psycho-social impacts. Based on the history of other extreme events, it is common to see widespread mental illnesses (or psychological strain) following the acute response phase. Feelings of anxiety, depression, loneliness, social withdrawal, overwhelm, and other symptoms are commonly associated with post-traumatic stress disorders or sustained stress events. If not managed early, these can become chronic and deepen individual and collective trauma.

Our relationship with nature – how much we notice, think about and appreciate our natural surroundings – is critical in supporting good mental health and better wellness, and is central to our philosophy at Kwendalo.

Nature Referrals aim to strengthen this vital relationship for the wider community.

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