We are seeking funding to help Veterans, serving personnel and their families access our services through a series of workshops.
One Veteran who was interested in attending our programmes approached us with his story.
In 1971 at 15 years old, he joined the Army as a musician. When he was 18, he was deployed to Northern Ireland to perform The Last Post at the burial of fallen comrades. Due to the lack of available manpower, he was ordered to remain there for a further four months as a guard in an internment camp. He had no previous operational experience, and found this tour of duty traumatic and shocking. After a failed marriage, years of feeling disconnected and having isolated himself on a farm on the Gower, it was not until his GP referred him to a counsellor in 2007 that PTSD was diagnosed whereupon he started his journey to recovery. He is still not completely recovered, but in the intervening years he had spent much time drawn to horses, working with them, and having attended the Dare To Live workshop. The impact of his trauma has affected his ability to continue as a musician. He said that “connecting with horses has had a real positive impact on my mental health. They don’t judge you, you don’t have to justify your existence to them. They accept you for how you are. They soothe me.”
The aim of the project is to bring people together from the Carmarthenshire area to better understand the impact of PTSD and its related symptoms, and how this may have an adverse effect on their state of wellbeing.
Through the programmes we aim to build a support network to combat isolation and access current resources available within the local community. Participants will develop tools and techniques that can build resilience – an antidote to Stress, Anxiety, Depression and PTSD symptoms. Though Psycho-Education we will open up the dialogue around mental health wellbeing and PTSD symptoms, with the goal of reducing stigma through increased awareness and understanding.