Saturday, March 10, 2012

The firm that helps people with mental health problems

Clinks Farm Care, a mixed farm of 143 acres near Beccles in Norfolk, offers - unique in the UK - "Agriculture in the prescription." Doctors prescribe a series of sessions on the farm for people with mental health problems. In addition, people from disadvantaged communities, caregivers and people with dementia also present. The goal, says Doeke Dobma, who runs the farm with his wife, Iris Van Zon, both 50 years is that people learn new skills, improve physical and mental health, feelings of worthlessness and, if possible, for allow a person to move into employment.

few years ago as a traditional farm, which uses a. Now, as part of "Green Care", which has a staff of six and a dozen volunteers. The farm is owned by Norfolk County Council and is funded by a variety of sources, including local health authorities. The firm combines health, welfare and agriculture in a way that can offer a different future for the parts of the rural economy.

"For too long, people have been prescribed a medication," says Doeke. "But there is another way. When people are engaged and have a connection with nature, often something magical happens."

Care Clinks
Farm opened in 2010. At the same time, Doeke and Iris began to develop care farms in Suffolk. Suffolk farms increased by one to 11. Doeke said Norfolk County Council was concerned about allowing the couple to take over the farm and worked as a property manager and Iris Doeke had mental health nurse. "What helped is that farmers and the community have given us outstanding support," said Doeke.

The farm has pigs, cows and chickens. The challenge in the UK, Doeke said, is that health care and social and agriculture are the different departments that have little connection with each other farms in government care need a political champion if one wants to be part of the current. Stigma is also a problem. "People think we are dealing with murderers and criminals. They believe that the care farms devalue their properties, but it is a practical model of care that helps people to invest time and in the rural economy.
"Iris and I are not in this for profit," he added. "That is why the farm is a social enterprise. We do this because I really hope that farms of care can change lives. "

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