Walk Tall is a registered charity specialising in Mental Health Support. We provide Play Therapy and one to one counselling for children aged 3 years upwards, young people, adults and couples. We work with those most impoverished and in need, who are excluded from accessing therapeutic support in a timely manner due to financial constraints alone. We also provide professional counsellor training qualifications, including specialist areas, like working with children and young people. In addition, we provide alternative key stage 4 and 5 education to those off-rolled from mainstream education due to severe and enduring mental health difficulties. These young people would otherwise have no recourse to education. Our therapeutic arts service provides confidence building and creative expression through performing arts.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
We provide one to one play therapy and counselling for children from 3 years and upwards, young people, adults and couples.
Many of our clients most at risk of suicidal ideation are currently waiting for NHS services, therefore they access our service desperate for support. We therefore provide a low-cost, quick access service to support individuals in their time of need.
Due to working within a high deprivation, socially diverse geographical location, many of our clients present with a myriad of difficulties and complex social and psychological needs. We therefore provide open ended therapeutic support, to address deep rooted issues, rather than short term, 1 problem solution focused free of charge statutory funded services. In doing so, we reduce revolving door clients, giving continuity of care and promote sustainable change for the future. We support clients for as long as they need.
What are your current priorities?
Our current priorities are:
• Providing one to one support for those at risk of suicide
• Continue to research the personal and sociological contributory factors to suicide
• Voice the findings using theatre in education and training establishments, training events and community theatres
Our most recent project integrated counselling and therapeutic arts. Both counsellors and actors attended a homeless shelter at the local church for 12 weeks, discussing, exploring and collecting the homeless individuals’ stories relating to suicidal ideation and suicidality. Following this, a community performance was written and delivered, encapsulating all aspects of the homeless people’s stories. This was then captured as part of a documentary.
Prior to this, we completed similar work with young people relating to anxiety and depression. This led to a county wide researched performance piece supported by seminars and activities led by therapists within schools, colleges and local theatres.
What challenges are you currently facing?
As a charity, funding for such research, education and delivery is limited. As a local charity, we have not had the capacity or platform to share our finding at a regional/national level. Increasing capacity to make more individuals and organisations aware of our work.