How to create healing spaces is so important. There is plenty of evidence that if patients have nice doctor surgeries to visit or are placed in gardens while in hospital, they get better faster.
See plants & trees to avoid near pets (avoid cocoa/pine/rubber mulch & fresh compost near pets). Use humane safe slug/snail deterrents & no-dig garden methods. See safer alternatives to netting for wildlife, if used. Many plants (inc. yew & oak trees) are toxic to equines. Also see indoor houseplants to avoid near pets (just brushing a tail against Swiss cheese plant, sago palm or lily can harm).
- Happy by Design is penned by the chair of a mental wellbeing forum for architects. Can good design truly make us happier? Is a sterile environment with magazines, uncomfortable chairs and LED lights flashing across the wall really good for us? This book explores the way in which buildings, spaces and even cities affect our moods. It shows how good architecture can help to support our mental health, and how poor design can have the opposite effect.
- Healthy Placemaking: Wellbeing Through Urban Design looks at 6 core themes to create the towns of tomorrow. Each theme looks at the problems and solutions. The book looks at how creating healthy places can bring down the number of common conditions like heart disease, diabetes, cancers and mental health problems, by encouraging walking and cycling communities, public parks and mixed-use communities.
- Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design is a book where Charles travels the world to meet the world’s most visionary mayors: from those who ripped up car budgets to build parks and traffic-free cycleways, to the architect who transformed Copenhagen.
- Precision Community Health is a book (on recycled paper) offering four innovations for well-being. This book is written by a doctor who found that treating a patient with hypothermia did little good, if the patient spent the next night out in the freezing cold. After becoming health commissioner for the city of Chicago, he was determined to find the societal reasons for disease, and focus on helping the most vulnerable. This targeted approach has led to lower rates of smoking, teen pregnancy, breast cancer deaths and other serious illnesses.
- See the post on the best natural house paints. These are free from the usual VOCs and toxic chemicals, which can make people feel ill, often months or years after painting a room.
- Maggies Centres is a charity set up by a cancer patient (before she died) and her husband. Situated near NHS hospitals, each beautiful building has a landscaped garden where patients and their families or carers can go wait for appointments, instead of sitting in a white stark waiting room. There are places to chat, get advice (on treatment or benefits) or just have a cup of tea.