No one’s life should be dictated by their physical mental health. Especially if it has been affected by their career. For people like Wayne, sadly, this remains the case.
After 22 years serving in the Army the years of soldiering took its toll – not only on his back but also his physical and mental health:
“After I came home from the Gulf War, I had changed. I saw lots of carnage out there. It was really difficult to switch off and I found myself drinking to cope.”
Diagnosed with depression and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Wayne found the diagnosis hard to accept:
“I put all my feelings in a box and tried to forget what I’d seen, mix that with my back pain and I was miserable. My family and I went through a rough time.”
No longer able to cope, Wayne reached out to Help for Heroes. Through Creative Recovery Programmes he was encouraged to take up art as a way to aid his ongoing recovery:
“I loved the activities. I’ve found new things that I want to continue. I’m in a much better place now and when I’m focused on art it makes me forget about my back pain.
When depression drags me down, I turn to my art to refocus my mind. Sometimes this means reliving events and expressing my emotions through drawing. Other times, I draw people or animals to remind me there is beauty in life all around us.”
With his renewed love of art, Wayne says he now uses “creativity instead of medication.”
Every day, highly-trained individuals, like Wayne, face an unknown future because they have been wounded, or they may have developed a serious illness whilst serving our country.
Help Wayne and countless others who put their lives on the line for us have a second chance at life
Life changing projects like Creative Force rely on public generosity. By donating today, you are enabling more wounded Veterans and their families to recover from physical and psychological injuries.