A new garden at Western Psychological Services in Melton South is having huge benefits for staff and clients alike.

The garden was designed by staff clinical psychologist Simon Lush, who has also studied horticulture at university.

It was designed as a ‘therapeutic landscape’ to create an environment that was healing, and also provide a sense of refuge and protection.

“The basic idea was to create a welcoming and homely place for our clients and therapists,” Mr Lush said.

“A lot of the people coming into the clinic
are pretty highly stressed and often suffering pretty severe anxiety and depression, so giving them a space to soothe the senses is very important.

“There’s a lot of research about green spaces and how that can aid physical and mental recovery, so we’ve tried to apply that here.”

As well as providing a soothing space for clients, the centre will also be starting a number of workshops in the garden to focus on mindfulness.

“There’s a lot of things in mindfulness that deal with management of stress, so it’s quite a good fit for the garden,” Mr Lush said.

“The feedback to the garden has been overwhelmingly positive, and as more things have started to grow it’s facilitated a lot of conversations around the practice and the nearby community, which has been great.”