Gardening Leave tends to the invisible wounds of conflict
An estimated 20% of veterans carry a mental wound; and these need as much healing as any physical wound. Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, increased levels of anxiety, hyper-vigilance, insomnia, inability to concentrate, mood swings, intrusive thoughts, depression, possible psychosis, and substance misuse/self-medication. As a result many veterans become socially isolated, staying indoors and unable to work.
Whatever the cause of the mental health issues veterans – younger or older, male or female, with or without physical wounds – are referred to us to help support their healing and transition to civilian life.
Gardening Leave uses horticultural therapy to support our troubled veterans on their journey to good health and their transition to civilian life. We offer professionally conducted, individualised, goal-oriented treatment sessions to maximise a veteran’s physical, psychological and social strength, and enhance general health and wellbeing.
To find out more about Gardening Leave, view films created by British Forces News at our Royal Hospital Chelsea garden and our Auchincruive, Ayr garden.
To hear from veterans, view the short film created by The Guardian or read a Guardian article.