Canadian Horticultural Therapy Pioneer Shares Knowledge with Stella’s Circle

Stella’s Circle is thrilled to have Mitchell Hewson in St. John’s this week delivering innovative training to Stella’s Circle staff. A pioneer in the development of Horticultural Therapy, Hewson is the first Registered Horticultural Therapist to practice in Canada and is widely known as an expert in this field.  

Thanks to support from the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant, five Stella’s Circle staff have completed a 120 hour online certification in Horticultural Therapy which is being applied through various Stella’s Circle programs. This on-site training session with Hewson is an extension of the online course, and includes topics such as gardening, aromatherapy and even chocolate therapy.  

“We are excited to learn more about the psychological and physiological benefits of horticultural therapy,” says Amy Sheppard, a social worker who has completed the online certification course. “This incredible learning opportunity with Mitchell Hewson helps us translate our learned knowledge into the hands-on work we do with a diverse population at Stella’s Circle.”  

“Stella’s Circle is always striving to support our participants in innovative ways so they can be healthy, confident, and self-reliant,” says Lisa Browne, Stella’s Circle CEO. “Innovative approaches such as

Horticultural Therapy open doors for our participants to find their own strength in creative, unexpected ways on the road to recovery.”  

Horticultural Therapy programs specialize in the treatment of clients with PTSD, addictions, affective disorders, schizophrenia, and other mental health disorders. It can help improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, and socialization. Other benefits include helping people learn to work independently and problem solve.