Loma Linda University Health Unveils New Outdoor Therapeutic Courtyard

[Photo: Loma Linda University Health]

Loma Linda University Behavioral Medical

Loma Linda University Health Unveils New Outdoor Therapeutic Courtyard

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year.

Healthcare | United States | Alyssa Hunt, with ANN Staff

Loma Linda University Behavioral Health unveiled The Mathews Bolden Family Therapeutic Courtyard with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 21, 2024, an expansion that will enhance patient care and well-being.

The new outdoor courtyard provides a space for relaxation and recreation while serving as a safe haven for patients to participate in engaging activities while building physical and social skills. With an average stay of five to seven days, the courtyard offers patients the freedom and rejuvenation that comes from spending time outdoors.

“While our facility offers beautiful views from the second floor, our inpatients are currently unable to experience the therapeutic benefits of an outdoor space during their stay,” said Erin Keepers, manager of youth social services at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center. “We understand that creating the right physical environment is an essential component of effective treatment. Having an outdoor courtyard will directly enhance the individual patient experience, ultimately leading to an enriched healing process.”

The importance of mental health services is increasingly being recognized, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. “We recognize the critical role that behavioral health plays in the overall health of our community,” said Edward Field, MBA, vice president of Behavioral Health Services. “The new courtyard offers a unique environment that fosters healing and recovery to complement the clinical treatments provided within our hospital.”

The courtyard not only brings to life an outdoor space for patients to engage with nature in a relaxed setting, studies show that being outdoors is an effective tool in managing stress and regulating the nervous system while also proving effective in coping with illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

The outdoor facility is a beautiful way to be stewards to the Earth and our bodies, said Trevor Mathews of the Mathews Bolden family. “That one breath of fresh air and the natural sounds you hear around you is the start of the healing process.”

The courtyard is the latest gift from the Mathews Bolden family, whose generous philanthropic donations have supported Loma Linda University’s health initiatives for years.

The original article was published on the Loma Linda University Health website.