Empowerment and Community Building Through a Gardening Project

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Abstract

Gardening activities undertaken by persons with psychiatric disabilities can provide opportunities for empowerment and increased competence, while building bridges to naturally occurring supports and resources within the broader community. Pyschosocial components utilized in the process include focus upon abilities rather than upon disabilities, consumer-staff partnerships, and community integration outcomes. This “healing therapy” was demonstrated by a community support program (CSP) project undertaken by a supported-housing supervisor with 18 consumers in 10 garden sites located within rural Chester County, Pennsylvania.

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