Mary Smith

Fellow’s Profile

Mary Smith

Care farming: international best practice

Fellowship

Focus

Developing mental health support services for rural communities based on farms

Fellowship year

2019

Locality

North West

Biography

I am CEO of Growing Well, a mental health charity based within a thriving horticultural enterprise in the South Lakes. Growing Well uses activity (horticulture and catering) as an alternative to talking therapy. My Fellowship in 2019 explored global best practice in therapeutic farming, including governance, funding and commissioning. I was particularly drawn to this form of mental health service because of the rural community I live in and the knowledge that around half of people referred for talking therapy here choose not to take it up. This means that in my area alone, thousands of people are not receiving the vital help they need, in a format that engages and empowers them. I strongly believe that this approach can work in other communities and areas across the UK. I have used the experience, skills and knowledge gained through my Fellowship to forge ahead with the replication of Growing Well's service delivery model at additional sites in Cumbria. Pre-pandemic, many mental health services here were already overburdened and the impact of the pandemic on population mental health is yet to be fully understood. We want to help as many people as we can – in Cumbria and beyond.

Activity

Disclaimer

All Reports are copyright © the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted. The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.

Activity

Disclaimer

All Reports are copyright © the author. The moral right of the author has been asserted. The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.

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