What is the problem that needs to be addressed? Please describe how it is related to mental health.
Lack of affordable housing and meaningful, sustainable activities for people with mental illness; unspent Mental Health Services Act dollars
Why is this a concern for Orange County? What can Orange County and other counties learn from this project?
Addressing the housing shortage while also providing sustainable solution toward livelihood. There are people who are homeless and need proper shelter and meaningful activities. Agrotherapy could potentially address both.
What is currently being done to resolve this problem in our county and throughout the United States? If applicable: Is it working; why or why not?
Development of more affordable housing; innovative, evidence based programs are needed to help people with mental illness recover.
What is new or different about this project idea? Please describe how this differs from what is already being done (Question 6). Please list any research that was done on this topic.
There’s been growing research on agrotherapy for people with mental illness: https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/huntington-va-chosen-to-be-part-of-agrotherapy-pilot-program/article_1433ed8c-3b15-5f34-a471-38f2120b720a.html There’s also growing research on agrinature research and sufficiency economy.
What is the project idea? Please describe how this project will operate.
Agrotherapy is using farming to help people with mental illness heal, thrive and sustain their livelihood. This could take place in a board and care/assisted residential facility that provides a farm-like, sustainable environment. Residents would be able to learn and implement farming techniques, grow their own foods/herbs, sell the surplus, generate income, interact with farm animals and have a greater sense of purpose while being in a welcoming community who’s committed to their health, well-being and livelihood.
Thank you for your consideration. I appreciate all that you do for the county.