The Medical University of South Carolina’s Urban Farm’s horticultural therapy services are enhancing an intensive treatment program for local children with behavioral challenges, helping kids ages 6-17 stay active outdoors with garden-based projects.
“That’s been amazing for them,” said Rebecca Daffron, clinical coordinator for MUSC’s STAR Children’s Day Treatment Program, which aims to stabilize, treat, assess and reintegrate children and adolescents. “Fresh air for everyone is therapeutic, but then there’s also the grounding techniques and being able to grow something outside.”
Children and adolescents enrolled in the day treatment program — a less costly alternative to inpatient care — spend each Friday with Ketron at a patient-specific satellite farm in North Charleston, where they engage in garden-based activities in small groups.
Ketron hopes to eventually bring this horticultural therapy to the newly constructed MUSC Children’s Hospital, which has a rooftop garden filled with plants native to the Lowcountry.