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Open AccessArticle

Therapeutic Nature Activities: A Step Toward the Labor Market for Traumatized Refugees

1
Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, 1958 Frederiksberg, Denmark
2
Department of Work Science, Business Economics and Environmental Psychology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 23053 Alnarp, Sweden
3
New Roots, Hallingelille Økosamfund, 4100 Ringsted, Denmark
4
Competence Centre for Transcultural Psychiatry (CTP), Mental Health Centre Ballerup, 2750 Ballerup, Denmark
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7542; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207542
Received: 6 July 2020 / Revised: 2 October 2020 / Accepted: 7 October 2020 / Published: 16 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Health and Wellbeing of Migrant Populations)
Background: Globally, the number of refugees is growing. For many refugees, entering the labor market in their new country of residence is challenging. Some remain forever dependent on welfare services, and this not only weakens their chances of integration, but also harms their health and well-being. Methods: This qualitative single case study focused on a group of war-stricken refugees in Denmark. The study investigated the impact of an eight-month horticultural vocational program aimed at improving their ability to complete an education program or to work. A total of 29 interviews were conducted and analyzed using the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) method. Results: The natural environment in the eco-village evoked a feeling of safety as well as positive memories in the participants, in contrast to the traumatic memories they had of their flight. Horticultural activities and the positive and respectful attitude from staff initiated a recovery process. New skills were achieved at an individual pace, and feelings of isolation decreased. These findings can be implicated in future interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: refugees; migrants; horticultural activities; recovery; vocational program; labor market refugees; migrants; horticultural activities; recovery; vocational program; labor market
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Poulsen, D.V.; Pálsdóttir, A.M.; Christensen, S.I.; Wilson, L.; Uldall, S.W. Therapeutic Nature Activities: A Step Toward the Labor Market for Traumatized Refugees. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7542.

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