Nature's Impact on Mental Health

6/11/2022 | Bennett Spring State Park | Lebanon, MO

The community is invited to a family event called “Nature's Impact on Mental Health,” which will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Exchange at Wall Street Cattle Co. in Lebanon, Missouri. This event is co-sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness Lebanon, Missouri State Parks and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. The program is free and explores the many ways nature can support mental health. Many outdoor activities, interpretive demonstrations and mental health resources will be present. The event will begin with a presentation from a mental health expert, followed by barbecue cash concessions and free snacks, and then fun in the outdoors.

At 11 a.m., Rachel Jones, manager of Trauma Informed Treatment for the Division of Behavioral Health, Department of Mental Health, will discuss how a brain makes healthy connections; the eight dimensions of wellness; and how being in nature can boost emotional, physical and spiritual health. Jones is a licensed professional counselor and has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology; a minor degree in Black Studies; and a master’s degree in Educational, School and Counseling Psychology from the University of Missouri, Columbia. In her current role, she provides trauma-informing training; consultation; and technical assistance with various projects to further implement trauma-informed knowledge, practices and treatment. Visitors may want to bring a lawn chair, a beach towel or an umbrella, as the event will take place in an open area under the sun. 

The Missouri State Parks team will have a variety of outdoor activities and demonstrations available to guests, including camping, kayaking, archery, geocaching, sand castles, beach ball fun, a children's story time tent, and water-wading and fossil-finding activities. Signup for kayaking can be done ahead of time through the Bennett Spring State Park nature center at 417-532-3925.

Other agencies will have booths with information on how to therapeutically enjoy the outdoors. The Lebanon Sunbonnet Garden Club will be present to share the therapeutic fun of gardening. Additional community participants will include Compass Health, COPE, COXHealth, Crosslines, Elevate Lebanon, Lebanon Free Store, Life Food Pantry, the Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program, Jordan Valley, the Laclede Literacy Council, the Lebanon Family YMCA, Mercy, New Life Project, Project 360 Youth, the Salvation Army, Joel E. Barber School, and Unconditional Counseling. 

For more information about this event, call the Bennett Spring nature center at 417-532-3925 or contact Donna Caffey of NAMI Lebanon at 417-718-1616 or

Click here to read the news release.

Event Time: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Event Location: The Exchange at Wall Street Cattle, 14900 Highway KK, Lebanon, Mo.

Bennett Spring State Park is located at:

26250 Highway 64A, Lebanon, MO | 417-532-4338

Associated activities

  • Camping
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Interpretive Programs