Info for referrers

The following information is aimed at GPs, community connectors, individuals and their families, therapists and other healthcare professionals who are considering recommending someone to one of our programmes. If you know that someone would benefit from our services, please suggest they get in touch.

Who are ‘Walks for Wellbeing’ aimed at?
Clients will be selected based on the likelihood of their benefitting from the programme. They will need to be able to walk, on unsurfaced but well formed tracks, for up to 20 minutes as a minimum requirement.

The programme is not intended for the rehabilitation of specific physical symptoms, but rather to increase general fitness, mobility, psychological wellbeing and social interaction.

The programme is particularly suited to those trying to cope with issues of stress, anxiety and social isolation. It is open to all adults who meet the basic client profile.

The ‘Walks for Wellbeing’ programme is not designed as a specific treatment for people who suffer from issues of secondary mental health (such as psychosis.severe substance abuse or a personality disorder diagnosis). However provided a client does not represent a risk to themselves or others then we would be willing consider them for assessment.

‘Walks for Wellbeing’ Programme Outcomes
The goal of our programme is to:

  • • increase confidence and skills for recreating outdoors;
  • • increase self-confidence and independence;
  • • normalise physical activity in everyday life;
  • • increase feelings of mental and physical wellbeing;
  • • improve social interaction;
  • • learn to identify symptoms of stress and anxiety;
  • • develop accessible techniques for alleviating stress and anxiety;
  • • increase motivation for self-care;
  • • reduce social isolation related issues;
  • • encourage appreciation of the natural world and Devon’s unique and beautiful environment;
  • • reduce reliance on institutional health and social care services.

Format & Approach
Each session will be two-hours long. Their format will vary over the course a programme. The first session will be very gentle and will offer a chance to attend to some of the basic skills of being outdoors.

Practices and activities will be offered by invitation during sessions and each person will be able to select their own level of engagement and challenge. Sessions will aim to increase the physical and emotional challenge slightly towards the end of the programme, however the undertaking of any activity remains the decision of the participant.

Sessions will take place in all but the most extreme weather conditions and the programme leaders will provide group shelter and refreshments in case of adverse weather.

Might this activity help?
To join the programme, each participant will be invited to a short 20-minute entry interview. This is to:

  • • assess physical and psychological suitability;
  • • ensure expectations are realistic;
  • • begin to create a relationship with the programme therapists and;
  • • answer any questions they may have.

Evidence-based Practice
For recent peer-reviewed evidence to support our approach:

Evidence-base >>

Health & Safety
The leaders working with the group hold public and professional liability insurance for both leading groups outdoors and psychotherapy practice. Each route used will be subject to a written risk assessment specific to the practices and activities undertaken. These are available along with certificates of insurance and copies of National Governing Body outdoor leadership, and psychotherapy qualifications on request.

If you would like to talk to us about Walks for Wellbeing or any other Ecotherapy Exeter programme, please contact us.