Physicians in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario can now prescribe a Parks Canada Discovery Pass to their patients for the purposes of promoting physical and mental health.
A new collaboration between PaRx, an initiative driven by health care professionals that promotes routine access to nature for health benefit, and Parks Canada has led to this revolutionary approach to patient health.
PaRx offers practical resources to physicians and other health care works to support them in promoting time in nature among patients. This includes a nature prescription file, provider code and instructions. Their standard recommendation is for patients to spend at least two hours per week in nature, at minimum 20 minutes per visit. This includes visiting a local park, starring up at a tree, looking out at a small (or big) body of water. The point is that ‘time in nature’ does not require getting out into deep forested areas, though now with this new collaboration, that option is more easily accessible.
Evidence shows that when physicians actually write down a prescription, adherence is better. And now with the opportunity to prescribe a Parks Canada pass, this may help alleviate both mental and financial barriers to access in nature.
There are more than 1,00 qualified prescribers registered with the new program. Ask your physician about it today!