Nature can have great role in healing

Thank you for bringing to light a very passed over aspect of therapeutic recovery in the Oct. 19 letter about public lands, “Protected areas are therapeutic.” Effective therapy is often thought to be a mental health professional meeting with a client in an office and using certain therapeutic modalities to “cure” them of their suffering. Though traditional therapy has an unequivocal role to play in healing, when used in conjunction with alternative therapies such as those utilizing nature, animals and peers, it enhances the recovery process and has a proven track record of being effective.

More attention has been given to the need for a robust therapeutic arsenal to treat not only veterans but anyone recovering from mental illness and trauma over the past several years; however, there are still not enough resources for those who want to utilize these kinds of therapy. Thus, I wholeheartedly agree that a great first step to accessing these alternative therapies would be to continue the ones that are already in existence like The Warrior Hike, by reauthorizing and fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund. With the raised awareness that the LWCF brings to programs like The Warrior Hike, I am confident there will be other therapeutic programs birthed and put into action on these lands that everyone will benefit from.

Sarah Matthews


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