Brookhaven Retreat Celebrates Park and Recreation Month

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Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, celebrates the extensive benefits of parks and recreation involvement in July.

This July, Brookhaven Retreat observes Park and Recreation Month. The 2014 campaign message, “Out is In,” focuses on changing outlooks by getting outside and involved in the community.

More and more studies report that regular physical activity, spending time outdoors, and community involvement positively influence emotional, physical, and mental health. Brookhaven Retreat encourages women to explore these aspects of a healthy lifestyle as part of mental health and substance abuse recovery.

According to a study done by the University of Exeter, moving to a greener area with more parks and outdoor recreation offers mental health benefits such as reduced stress and an increased happiness that continues long after the initial move. As a result of this and similar studies, there has been an increased effort in providing and promoting green space, even for those in urban environments.

Stress can trigger depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses; therefore, stress reduction is vital to managing mental wellness. Parks and outdoor recreation innately foster healthy habits that lower stress including cardiovascular exercise, friendly conversation, and a pleasant walk.

Simply spending time surrounded by parks and beautiful green spaces relaxes the mind and speeds up the brain’s recovery from fatigue and exhaustion, improving memory and brain performance.

Parks cultivate strong communities and social connection. Strong social support and interaction decreases feelings of depression and isolation, resulting in higher self-esteem, self-value, and overall happiness.

Located on 48 beautiful acres in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, Brookhaven Retreat encourages women to spend time in green space, taking mindful walks, and building their support system.

This July, Brookhaven Retreat urges women to spend time outside establishing healthy habits, better coping skills, and strong social support, in an effort to build a solid foundation that is conducive to long-term mental wellness and happiness.

About Brookhaven Retreat:

Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use, and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure, and cared for by a staff of highly-trained professionals.

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Jessica Wirth
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