Silkeborg Municipality makes ”Nature on Prescription” a permanent service for the citizens in the Outdoor Capital of Denmark

In 2022 Silkeborg Municipality started the pilot project “Nature on Prescription” to bring nature and outdoor activities into municipality welfare areas. The project offers an 8-week course for citizens who are affected by stress, loneliness and anxiety.

The aim of “Nature on Prescription” is to empower the participants and to promote job-readiness. The main tools are treating the participant not as clients but simply as human beings. And showing them the value of being out in nature and stepping out of an often difficult and locked life situation.

“Nature on prescription use a number of outdoor activities, often relaxed activities, in the treatment and training of people with stress, depression or anxiety.
The target is to improve mental health, empowerment and job readiness. The program lasts 8 weeks and includes 2 weekly activities – and is completed with a bridging programme to associations and municipal services”

Outdoor institute (DK)

In the beginning of 2023, the project had shown remarkable results. Significant progress is seen in the participants’ job readiness. Before the course 75%. of the participants answered that they “did not feel ready to enter employment at all”. After the 8 weeks on the “Nature on Prescription” course, the proportion had dropped to just 17%. Furthermore, 50% of the participants answered that they now “to a great extent” or “to some extent” felt ready to return to work. Finally, after the course 87% of the participants felt inspired to be active in and use nature to a great or somewhat great extent.

Because of this, Silkeborg Municipality has now integrated the project as a permanent service to its citizens.

If you are interested in finding out more about the initiative, please contact