Having a calming space to relax and take a break from life’s pressures is important, especially at a hospital, where high-stress situations are often present. Through this Service Grant, Jessica Adams partnered with with Junction City Oregon State Hospital and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Lane County—which has a resource center at the hospital—to create a Serenity Garden. The garden is used by patients, staff, and visitors as a place of reflection, quiet, and meditation. Through this project, NAMI is able to increase its services to rural Lane County residents.

The garden is a peaceful, serene outdoor area where visitors are surrounded by greenery, plants, and flowers—the majority of which are native to the area—as well as a beautiful brick walkway. Benches provide visitors a place to sit, relax, and enjoy the garden. The garden also serves as a visible reminder that the comfort and mental health of everyone who visits it matter.

The garden helps improve the mental health of visitors by providing a place for relaxation and meditation, while also addressing the stigma around mental health through education and awareness. Mental illness can be a difficult issue for many people to address—this garden provides a welcoming and safe space for people to visit and relax, where they can also access resources at the nearby NAMI Lane County Resource Center. The garden will support a minimum of 170 community members, annually, including patients, their families, staff, and other members of the public.