The Walnut Tree Project
Veterans from all over the United Kingdom are being treated unfairly in one capacity or another; this is known to veterans themselves and has been recognised by others not involved in the military.
This situation has led to the uprising of numerous non-government funded independent organisations spread across the United Kingdom, that are solely and genuinely devoted to commemorating the sacrifice of our servicemen and women and work tirelessly to stand as pillars, where soldiers who didn’t fall and the families of fallen soldiers can lean on, when the system that put them there fails them.
Luke Woodley established one of such organisations – The Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing, a Community Interest Company, after he succeeded in rebuilding his own life having also been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Luke is now a mental health expert himself and works with other health organisation to extend support to individuals of the British armed forces & emergency services who share a like condition.
At first, in 2016 when The Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing was founded, it was exclusively a veteran response community and devoted its activities to the mental health and wellbeing of veterans in crisis and need.
Subsequently, because of the success of the initiative, it was relaunched to allow non-military individuals to access its services and to assist them as long as they made use of the Walnut Tree’s services.
Luke mentioned during the second launch that it was unfair to keep their services to a small number of people seeing that the majority who are outside the veteran community were in need of the same aid.
What is it that they do?
Basically, the foundation was established to assist Marines, Sailors, Airmen and all those who worked within the armed forces and were being affected adversely in one way or the other by the consequences of the service they offered as servicemen.
The initiative exists to extend support and care for the listed section of people that are at risk or already have health problems especially those related to mental health.
They offer health recovery activities and crisis support for those who have complicated mental health problems which include PTSD, depression, and addictions.
The organisation focuses on bringing down relapse rate and dependence on the various keen mental treatments available today. The activities utilised during the therapy and treatment by the walnut project is inspired from motivation and encouragement where the mind is cleansed, not by drugs but by activities such as ecotherapy, a treatment that comes from within.
A therapy group who are predominently cognitive-based was set up by the founder, Luke, Dr. Kingerlee a Psychologist and John King, a mindfulness practitioner.
This team has the knowledge and capacity to properly handle people with impaired mental functioning, and they train affected people to control their own crisis and are constantly looking to become advance so they can render new and better services to veterans and others that need them.
In addition, the WTHW (Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing) community ventured into the prevention of suicide and put an anti-suicide squad in place.
Now, in just two years, this suicide response team has proven its worth by preventing 29 different suicide occurrences in 2 years by an intervention. Luke said once that no one who is in a suicidal state truly wants to end his life but because of their severe distress what they need is properly trained personnel to attend to their situation and the organisation is bringing this to reality.
Why is Walnut Tree Health and Wellbeing worth supporting?
When Luke initially announced his project most people said it wasn’t realistic and likely not to succeed. Now he speaks of where they are today, how far they have come and sees only future expansion of his services.
His words were, “to nurture it, see it mature and develop, and get much bigger than we’ve ever thought, is proof that it is successful and the service is needed”.
Walnut Tree offers a unique service and proper funding of the service would bring help to the door of many that yearn for it.
Luke mentioned how it would be great to open up the foundation to everyone in need but they simply lack the funding to do this just yet. The expertise is already in place so perhaps by joining the Veterans Raffle you could help make their expansion a reality!