The mental health benefits of environmental programs in public libraries

WALSTON, Erika and DOWNS, Deirdre (2019) The mental health benefits of environmental programs in public libraries. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session 113c - IFLA.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2648
[img]
Preview
Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.

Abstract

The mental health benefits of environmental programs in public libraries

With 50 percent of the world’s population living in urban environments, people have greater economic and social opportunities, but are also at higher risk of mental illness. Fortunately increasing evidence shows mental health can be improved by nature. Nature can boost self-esteem, increase focus and creativity, and reduce social isolation. Public libraries are in a prime position to use this evidence to create programs to help improve patrons’ mental health through environmental literacy. Libraries can help patrons feel comfortable in nature and once they see the benefits of the outdoors they will see the need for an environmentally sustainable future. The ideas presented in the poster focus on the UN’s SDG 13 - Climate Action. The poster can help libraries increase their nature and environmental sustainability programs for the double benefit of increasing environmental literacy as well as improving patrons’ mental wellbeing. An increase in these programs can hopefully help patrons establish habits that can benefit them for life. The information is divided into two sections: background on mental health and the benefits of nature supported by academic resources, and examples of successful environmental programs focusing on various age groups.

FOR IFLA HQ (login required)

Edit item Edit item
.