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‘Without this, I would have killed myself’: gardening helps heal refugees’ trauma

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

An NHS-run therapeutic gardening project in London is helping to alleviate symptoms of severe mental health problems

It was around a year after Fatu Mangeh* arrived in the UK that she considered taking her own life.

In 2002 she fled the civil war in Sierra Leone where she had been raped and tortured – scars are still visible on her hands 15 years later. Her parents were killed and the only family she had left was her two-year-old daughter. She was lured to the UK by a man who promised to marry her but abandoned her, leaving her destitute and with no support. Wandering the streets, she came across a woman from Sierra Leone who offered to help; she took her to the Home Office to claim asylum and registered her with a GP.

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