Publication Details

Picton, C. J., Moxham, L. & Patterson, C. (2018). Not always in that beautiful place: the meaning of nature to people living with a mental illness. Proceedings 6th Annual Worldwide Nursing Conference (WNC 2018) (pp. 1-7). Singapore: Global Science and Technology Forum.


Whilst evidence on the potential physical health and social benefits of exposure to nature settings have increased there remains a need to further the understanding of the restorative benefits on mental health. The purpose of this paper is to examine the meanings of nature for people living with a mental illness whilst participating in an outdoor adventure camp. This study used an exploratory qualitative approach to analyze the narrative data collected from individual semi-structured interviews. Data saturation were reached after five participant interviews (n=5). Using van Kaam's Psychophemenological Method a number of structural elements and themes were identified from the participants' descriptions. The findings revealed one of the themes as a Connection with nature and comprised of four elements which are: Appreciation and connection; Mindfulness and distraction; Vitality, and, Sustains physical activity. These findings are linked with two complimentary theoretical frameworks, Stress Recovery Framework and Attention Restoration Theory, to discuss how the experiences of nature can relieve psychological stress and mental fatigue.


Link to publisher version (DOI)