Authors: Kay Simmons & Mary Ireland, SA
Event: 2005 TheMHS Conference
Subject: Mental Health Promotion and prevention
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Gathering Tree Community Garden is a joint initiative between Adelaide Central Community Health Service, South Australian Housing Trust and Eastern Community Mental Health Service. This project is based in the backyard of a South Australian Housing Trust home located in Kilburn and the garden was designed to promote and encourage an atmosphere of community collaboration and ownership. The house located on the same site is utilised as a community meeting and information place. The garden’s aims and objectives incorporate key elements from The 3rd National Mental Health Plan(2003 - 2008) including the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental health problems and mental illness, increasing service responsiveness by providing increased access to recovery and rehabilitation programs outside of clinical frameworks, strengthening consumer and carer participation and fostering research, innovation and sustainability(2003, p13). The garden provides an outstanding example of how marginalised and disadvantaged people can be encouraged to participate in community development activities, which add to their daily quality of life. This paper will tell the story of the garden’s evolution, its struggle for survival and the capacity of marginalised communities to make a difference in their local area.