The leader of the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats, Nick Stuart, is calling on Islanders to support a petition asking for the government invest seed corn money to support our armed forces and emergency response professionals.
“A group in Dorset have launched an online and paper petition asking for government seed corn help to support our armed forces and emergency response professionals. This will use an established model of intervention though horticulture, but explicitly including families to support everyone touched by this major issue.
“The petition will be carried from Dorset across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and then onto London in June and I’m pleased to lead this on the Island with the involvement of ex-service people and others.”
Island to host first centre
According to Nick, the first support centre is being suggested for the Isle of Wight, he says,
“I’m delighted to work on such an important cause; including carrying the petition across the Island!”
Show your support
If you would like to support the campaign, head over to the online petition to add your signature.
Support from IW MP?
The Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, is a former soldier, having served in the UK Armed Force from 2008 onwards.
OnTheWight have asked Bob whether he’ll support this campaign and will update once we heard back.
The proposal setting out the plans can be found below.
PTSD ‘Front Line’ Recovery Centres
Thousands of ex-armed forces and emergency services personnel have been diagnosed with mental health conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.
This trauma can cause flashbacks, nightmares, anger and depression – often leading to violence, alcohol and substance abuse, job loss, family breakdown and suicide.
The trouble is that PTSD is on the rise and this project will hopefully go some way in helping to alleviate this problem.
Across the country there are a number of charities based on horticultural therapies such as Sheltered Work Opportunities (SWOP), Seeds of Hope and THRIVE that “provide a meaningful occupation in a supportive environment aiming to restore well-being to people with mental illness”.
These charities aim to create a safe area for people with mental health problems who often feel frightened, lonely, isolated and powerless. They address the needs of the whole person holistically, with therapeutic intervention and varied work rehabilitation.
The charity’s purpose will be to set up a number of PTSD recovery centres around the country specifically aimed at helping ex-armed forces and emergency services personnel that have been diagnosed with mental health problems.
Each centre will be run as a separate charity, with its own board of locally based trustees. Their aim will be to create a happy and relaxed caring family-like community to assist the attendees (known as volunteers) to move forward in all aspects of their lives, whilst feeling safe, valued, cared for and respected. The charity realises that mental health problems not only affect the individual but also their immediate family. Therefore, the service will also, where possible, work with the family to help in the volunteer’s full recovery.
The charity will offer horticultural and other therapeutic treatments specifically aimed at helping to rehabilitate these ‘volunteers’ and help them to come to terms with their illness and move on, in other words ‘to close the chapter and turn the page’.
We hope to arrange a meeting with members of the government and opposition parties, to ensure cross party support and £6,000,000 to help fund the project.
We plan to launch the project by holding a media event that will culminate at the Houses of Parliament on June 27th, ‘National PTSD awareness day’.