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Horticultural therapy

A garden for healing
Steven Wells reporting for Gardening Australia from the therapeutic garden at Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre. Photo provided courtesy of Gardening Australia.

Fresh air is proven to help us feel happier, calmer and a little more able to deal with anxiety, stress, sadness or trauma. For people who have suffered a traumatic spinal cord or brain injury, feeling relaxed and safe in a peaceful garden can help them begin to talk about and accept their new life.

A session in the garden means getting away from the four walls of their hospital room. Many of these patients are here for up to one year and the feeling of soil on their hands and creating new life through planting, watering and nurturing gives them hope. Being busy in the garden helps them to talk about their trauma with others.

Horticultural therapy in the therapeutic garden at Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre relies completely on donations from supporters, like you. Please donate today so we can continue to help people in this wonderful garden.

To ensure your donation goes directly towards the horticultural therapy program, please type 'Garden Therapy' in the comments box on the online donation form.

"My whole world had been turned upside down." - Steven Ribarich

Steven Ribarich became a quadriplegic after an accident in the surf.

In the blink of an eye, Steven, a husband and father, became a quadriplegic after an accident in the surf and had to face the confronting reality of living the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

Because he had been a keen gardener before his accident Steven decided to give horticultural therapy a try while at Royal Talbot for his rehabilitation.  It helped him to talk about the trauma of what had happened to him and begin to accept and grasp the enormity of how his life as a husband and father was to change.

"Horticultural therapy helped take my mind off the reality of my situation. It made me realise that you need to get out and do these things to make yourself feel better, because sometimes when you're here you don't feel that great."

Steven Ribarich and Steven Wells, Horticultural Therapist

"Our opportunity is to help patients re-build their lives. Your support is so important." - Steven Wells, Horticultural Therapist

Without support from you, the creative therapies program at Royal Talbot cannot continue. This would be a devastating outcome for Emma, Steven, Nitisha and the thousands of other Royal Talbot patients who need physical and emotional support after suffering a traumatic spinal cord or brain injury.

Thank you. You are amazing.