Garden May Be ‘Game Changer' For Vets with PTSD

The U.S. Navy and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center hope a newly created healing garden will soothe the bodies and minds of wounded warriors.

It’s estimated that 12 percent of all veterans live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), according to the VA of San Diego.

Retired U.S. Navy neurologist Dr. Fred Foote has been working on the design and construction the Green Road Project in the hopes of helping those living with PTSD.

Foote has been influential in introducing holistic medicine into the military. For the past 6 years, he’s been spearheading the creation of a serene space – tucked into the wilderness behind the naval facility.

Crews transformed two acres into a healing garden – a therapy that’s the first of its kind within the U.S. military.

On Monday, there will be an official opening.

“There’s a tremendous amount of evidence recently that making art and music, and being in nature is tremendously healing for traumatized people, especially for people with post traumatic stress disorder,” Dr. Fred Foote with the Institute for Integrative Health.

Researchers will study the effects of the Green Road Project on wounded warriors, testing for markets of stress before and after experiences in the healing garden.

If it’s a success, Foote said it could be a game changer.

"Any community can heal their local vets with PTSD by creating art and music lessons for them or by involving them in a veterans’ garden," Foote said.

Nearly 20,000 veterans have received care for PTSD in San Diego since 2010. The VA San Diego offers treatment ranging from counseling and couples therapy to programs offering help with anger and nightmares.

If you or someone you know needs help, here’s a link to resources available. 

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