Following a season of BBC programmes on the issues surrounding mental health, and particularly how sport or exercise can benefit our psychological well-being, we feel privileged that ex-serviceman, Ryan, participating in a Help for Heroes expedition to the Lake District has shared his story with us.
One in four people in the UK experience mental health problems each year, and yet it can still carry a stigma and cause the sufferer to feel isolated and alone. As courageous individuals start to open up about how mental health issues have affected them, and how they have found the road to recovery, hopefully more people will be encouraged to seek that all-important help that can combat this often hidden and silent illness.
A Promising Career
I joined the army in 2013 and completed my basic training. I learned new skills like field craft, shooting, map reading, first aid and drill. I was really pleased to receive the Harris trophy award for top student in education. Moving on to phase 2 of my training at the Royal Logistic Corps, I got almost to the end of the training when I had to leave for health reasons.
Mental Health Can be Isolating
When I got out of army I had a break down suffering with mental health problems. I felt isolated and like I had no one to turn to. Eventually I pushed myself to approach Help for Heroes and started getting the support I needed. In association with the North East Military Vehicle Club, they were organising a trip to the Lake District, including water sports activities at Low Wood Bay and a trip to Honister Slate Mine. I put my name down and was really pleased when I got accepted.
Doris and David Forster and the team were so lovely and very encouraging and got me through the week with no problem. If it wasn’t for such a supportive team I would not have had the confidence to take part. I’ve kept in touch with the Forsters since and all I can say is that Doris and David have a special place in my heart because they are such lovely people.
If it hadn’t been for Help for Heroes and the North East Military Vehicle Club I really don’t know where I would be right now. I am going back to the Lake District in May this year and really looking forward to another challenging adventure.
Low Wood Bay Watersports
We are open seven days a week from 1st April to 31st October and we have an extensive range of watersports in a fabulous location. Our experienced team to help you to get out on the lake to have some fun and discover your potential. Contact us on 015394 39441 for more information.