Improving College-Student Mental Health
The Nature Rx movement is changing campus life. Offering alternative ways to deal with the stress that students are under, these programs are redefining how to provide students with the best possible environment in which to be healthy, productive members of the academic community.
In Nature Rx, Donald A. Rakow and Gregory T. Eells summarize the value of nature prescription programs designed to encourage college students to spend time in nature and to develop a greater appreciation for the natural world. Because these programs are relatively new, there are many lessons for practitioners to learn; but clinical studies demonstrate that students who regularly spend time in nature have reduced stress and anxiety levels and improved mood and outlook.
In addition to the latest research, the authors present a step-by-step formula for constructing, sustaining, and evaluating Nature Rx programs, and they profile four such programs at American colleges. The practical guidance in Nature Rx alongside the authors' vigorous argument for the benefits of these programs for both students and institutions places Rakow and Eells at the forefront of this burgeoning movement.
Donald A. Rakow
Donald A. Rakow is Associate Professor in the Section of Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University.