Stress is a growing problem across the globe. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2017) ranks stress-induced disorders, such as depression, as a leading cause of disability worldwide. In response to the growing number of individuals suffering from stress-related mental disorders, researchers in Scandinavia have designed a nature-based therapy model for those on stress-leave. In 2001, The Healing Garden in Alnarp was established at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and soon after, in 2010, Nacadia Healing Forest Garden was constructed at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
This emerging model of green care is based on findings that individuals suffering from stress experience limited cognitive, emotional, and social resources, which often makes it difficult to think, learn or otherwise problem-solve in ways that might be required, for example, in talk therapy (Stigsdotter & Grahn, 2002; 2003).