A new initiative allowing doctors to prescribe spending time in nature to patients has received mixed responses.
A pilot programme of “green health prescriptions” is now available from Lochee Health Centre, Whitfield Health Centre and Taybank Medical Centre as of Friday.
As part of their treatment, patients will be directed to “nature-based interventions” at various community groups in the city.
Nigel Henderson, chief executive of Penumbra mental health charity, which has a branch in Dundee, said: “There is good evidence that embracing nature and the outdoors is good for physical and mental well-being.
“As more and more people live in cities around the world we sometimes forget that the wider countryside offers positive well-being benefits.”
The scheme has attracted a range of responses from the public, with some positive and others criticising the project for “spoon feeding” people.
Tricia Bremner said: “How long are we having to spoon feed people to get them to go out for a walk in park — does he write a prescription for them – world has gone mad.”
Marlyn Roebuck added: “Whatever next?
“Majority of folk know that even going for a walk, round of golf, cycling, swimming etc can clear the head and de-stress you.
“The world has gone mad right enough.”
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However, others said they were in favour of green prescriptions and they will help to alleviate loneliness.
Sal Day said: “The prescription will act as a referral to community projects such as community gardens or botanical gardens and park ranger groups in and around Dundee.
“With isolation and lack of support network being a massive contributor to the negative impact of lasting mental health problems, this is an excellent way of helping people take the first step in building a support network.”
Keith Bell added: “It’s not all about pharmacological interventions.
“For some people a pill is the cure all and need a prescription to make them feel better.
“So here’s a prescription to get out more instead of sitting indoors.
“Being outdoors and socialising does have benefits to people’s health. Medicines are not the magic cure all but assist in maintaining health.
“Each individual has a responsibility to try and maintain their own health.”
Nobody from NHS Tayside was available for comment.