Ms Sujin park1, Ms Jaeyoon Hong1
1Korea National Institute of Forest Science, Seoul, South Korea
A forest healing program was conducted for at-risk children, whose vulnerable environments hinder healthy development of interpersonal relationships compared to other children. This study analyzed the effects to examine the potential of the forest healing program as a way to promote the children’s psychological health. The forest healing program, including forest activities, aroma therapy, treks, activities using forest resources, and nature-based crafts, was operated for the healthy growth and development of children at risk. The program was run a total of 72 times from 2015 to 2018 at National Forest Therapy sites. Self-reported pre- and post-program surveys (on interpersonal relationships) were administered and analyzed to identify its effects (n[total] = 3,921). The results show an overall increase of 1.77 points from 2015 to 2018, which was found to be statistically significant (p < .000). Thus, the forest healing program may be usefully applied for welfare of children in urban areas as a sociality promotion program utilizing forest environment and resources in cities.
MPH, work for National Institute of Forest Science