Healing the spirit and mind through nature 

“To sit in a garden and feel the breeze, breathe the fresh air, feel the sunshine on your face – it calms me and helps me feel connected to the outside world. It is healing,” an anonymous patient once said.

The power of nature to make us feel better, both physically and mentally, is well-known. In fact, it’s been believed for a thousand years that gardens are beneficial for patients.

With your help, we can ensure the healing power of nature has a prominent place at the new Aurora Medical Center in Sheboygan County. Three healing gardens are planned for the new hospital, including one for behavioral health patients.

“The current hospital has a small garden, but it’s not accessible to behavioral health patients,” explained Laura Reinemann, patient care manager at the Aurora Sheboygan Memorial Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Unit. “Our population has unique needs. We have to have a private, safe, enclosed outdoor space.”  

Room to breathe

Being in nature can have a dramatic effect on patients’ wellbeing.

“Patients with anxiety, who feel the world is closing in on them, often ask to just get a breath of fresh air – a healing garden accessible to the behavioral health unit would allow staff to provide this healthy intervention to our patients,” said Laura.

It would give patients an opportunity to connect with nature, which is beneficial for a number of behavioral health disorders, such as seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression related to the changing of the seasons. Light therapy is often part of treatment.

“With a garden, these patients could experience actual sunshine, which is something we don’t have the capacity to do right now," said Laura. "We could also use the garden for group therapy sessions, or even yoga.”

How you can help

You can support the construction of healing gardens at the new Aurora Medical Center in Sheboygan County by making a gift to the Health Lives Here campaign. To learn more, click here, or contact Sara Alger at 262-235-9506 or sara.alger@aurora.org.

Three healing gardens will provide a space for relaxation and contemplation for patients and their families. 

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