Veterans Farm Network: Supporting Our Veterans' Recovery, Rehabilitation and Reintegration Through Horticulture
GGS is proud to support the creation of the Veterans Farm Network, a therapeutic and vocational program that is being developed for veterans of the military. The program was designed by Forces & Families, a not-for-profit and volunteer-supported organization founded in 2007 that provides support to Canadian Armed Forces members, veterans, and their families. Evidence-based research and practical experience show that greenhouse agricultural and horticultural operations provide significant benefits for the challenges of mental wellness and stress.
Kenneth Shulman, MD, professor, Department of Psychiatry at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center provided a letter of support for our efforts stating:
“Mental Health Research has long shown that recovery from mental health challenges is greatly improved by physical activity and meaningful work and in this case the serenity of a greenhouse operation to recover from stress-related injuries.”
At GGS we are excited to do our part in supporting the efforts of Forces & Families. Statistics show that many veterans and their families live in or near rural areas where unemployment is high and opportunities for employment are low. These areas are ideal locations for greenhouse operations and will provide veterans with jobs and allow them to reintegrate into society while learning valuable horticultural skills. All the while they will be reaping the many therapeutic benefits that growing plants provide, with the end goal of easing mental health challenges experienced by veterans and their families.
GGS supports the efforts of both Canadian and US military veterans, and The University of Michigan Comprehensive Depression Center just extended their support for Veterans Farm Network, stating:
“The greenhouse environment should be considered therapeutic along with the appropriate vocational training and ongoing support of educators and medical professionals. The learning of practical agricultural skills and related endeavours will certainly lead to improved life and job readiness skills and result in improved overall health.”
Veterans have done so much to keep us safe; we are compelled to help provide them the tools they need to live a happy and successful life. If you’d like to learn more about this worthy cause, please visit forcesandfamilies.ca