Our forests — a panacea for the soul

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.   Research shows that there is an increase of stress, created by the continuous stimuli from electronic communications and multimedia advertisements, which are encountered throughout the day and night.  Many mental health problems are exacerbated by our increased alienation from natural environments.   Recent research also shows that time spent in natural/undeveloped environments can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression as well as improve quality of life.

We need more than just photographs or virtual on-line experiences of wildlife and natural habitats.  The availability of healthy wildlife, wildlife habitats, fisheries, beaches, wetlands, and uplands provide the opportunity to integrate our lives with the natural environment which improves our mental health.

Tara Kirby, LMHC


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