Stratheden Hospital Fife on a sunny afternoon, 6 May 2014

photos and tweets from walking round the psychiatric hospital grounds near which I have lived and walked through for over 22 years, was an inpatient briefly in 2002 and visited wards as a carer

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  1. Recovering Eden proposed project on forestry.gov.uk:
    "Enthusiasm from hospital staff and the local community have helped develop new plans to restore the grounds to active use, with the aim being to create a new exemplar in Fife of a therapeutic space which is available for the whole community to use – encouraging everyone to think about ‘staying well’, rather than just getting better when they are already ill. Termed ‘Recovering Eden,’ this exciting project has one theme – ‘recovery’- with three aspects:

    - Recovery of ‘self’ after illness and developing resilience using the outdoors environment;

    - Recovery of the grounds (their ‘restoration’);

    - Recovery of the grounds as a more natural green space than is the case now (Eden).

    A landscape architect was appointed to help with the survey and appraisal of the grounds, and to develop a ‘master plan’ for the whole site. Work has now begun with restoring some of the courtyard gardens. There are also aspirations for including sculpture and other art-works, orchards, meadows and allotments throughout the grounds, which will also be opened up for public use. Existing roads round the site which are too narrow for modern-day traffic requirements could be re-invented as a network of ‘leisure routes’ for walking, cycling and horse-riding.

    There are even ideas to re-use some of the buildings which have fallen into disuse, for example using the former chapel as a quiet space for activities like yoga."

    “It’s great we still have this superb estate and that it is totally devoted to improving mental health and wellbeing. We are starting to take a second look at our Victorian inheritance and are rediscovering some of the ideas that our forbears had about how to improve our mental health. Common sense tells us that contact with the natural environment and making a contribution to someone or something beyond our own desires is good for us and research is starting to produce evidence to affirm this.”

    Graham Buchanan, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, NHS Fife

  2. He said his parents had just been to visit, taking 3 buses to get there, and that he'd be glad to get away from the nurses.  He's been to see the place he's moving to with his own room (ward I think has dormitory accommodation).  He talked about the early days as a patient, being restrained, absconding, detained, getting discharged but with no support had to come back in as a patient.  He now manages his own medication.  It's his birthday tomorrow.  Another male patient passing by asked him if I was his mother. 
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