Using Nature to Improve Mental Health: A Virtual Summit

Our annual DuPage Environmental Summit is planned for January 28th from 8:30am to Noon and will be held virtually this year for the safety of all.

Our topic is Nature Rx: Using Nature to Improve Mental Health, which resonates with all of us during this extraordinarily trying year!   Our speakers will share ways to engage with nature for the purpose of finding mental strength and balance.

Virtual Summit Agenda

8:30 – 9:00          Welcome

Brook McDonald, President/CEO, The Conservation Foundation
Ramon Nayar, Nayar Family Foundation
Dr. Teresa Horton, PhD, Bachelor of Science in Zoology, University of Washington, PhD, Biology, subspecialty: Ecology, Evolutionary, and Organismal Biology, University of Utah.
Current Position: Associate Professor of Research, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University

9:00 – 10:00        Horticulture Therapy in a Behavioral Health Hospital 2.0

Deana Grall, CTRS, Rogers Memorial Hospital
Geoff Roehll, Senior Principal, Hitchcock Design Group

Participants will see how integrating nature into therapeutic treatments for behavioral     health can impact patient outcomes along with a basic understanding of
what makes a garden healing.

10:00 – 10:10     Questions

10:10 – 10:15     Break

10:15 – 11:00     Nature as a Holding Environment for Connection, Growth, and Transformation for Young Adult Cancer Survivors and Caregivers

Dr. David Victorson, PhD, Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Associate Director, Cancer Survivorship Institute,
Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at Northwestern University

This talk will highlight the mission of True North Treks and its work with young adults and caregivers affected by cancer using nature-based programming.  Qualitative and quantitative program outcomes will be presented, as well as COVID-19-related participation preferences and requirements of this vulnerable population.                                     

11:00 – 11:05      Questions

11:05 – 11:10      Break 

11:10 – 11:55      Nurturing Mental Wellbeing Through Nature

Dr. Courtney Schultz, PhD, Executive Director, Health and Technology Partners, LLC

This presentation will explore how an ecosystem approach to healthcare through nature-based health interventions can help bridge the divide between
community members, the healthcare system, and our natural environments. We will explore how programs such as Park Rx America’s Park Prescriptions and
an education standards-aligned middle school curriculum are creating dynamic intersections between environmentalism, health access, and inclusive
community engagement.                                       

11:55 – 12:00      Closing comments


Support for the DuPage Environmental Summit provided by DuPage Foundation.

We’d like to thank NCH2 (Nature Culture Human Health) for partnering with us on this event.


Thanks To Our Sponsors:

DuPage County Stormwater Management
Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd.
Bedrock Earthscapes
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

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