Coinciding with the 9th anniversary of 9/11, Swindon Trauma Group is running a workshop to educate the public about the causes, symptoms and effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The group comprises ex-service personnel and therapeutic experts who wish to deepen public understanding of the condition, and reach out to the medical community to let them know what they can offer.
Pictured right, Joan Haddrell, Lyn Chapman of group supporters Basepoint Business Centre, Alison Harvey, Richard Hilling, Frank Parkinson, Steve Wakefield
Member, clergyman, author and PTSD expert Frank Parkinson said, “perceptions of post traumatic stress have started to change over the past five or six years, and we have shifted from a ‘men don’t cry’ mindset into a more healthy acceptance about how differently people can be affected by shocking events in their lives. However there is still a long way to go."
Military veteran and former police officer Councillor Steve Wakefield is a keen supporter of the working group. "What we currently do with veterans who need to assimilate back into civilian society is scandalously poor. Thirty percent of homeless people on our streets are ex-forces, and eight out of ten former prisoners who are looking for re-housing are also ex-service personnel."
Frank added, ""self-help books were pretty much all ex-service personnel had," said Frank, whose book Post Trauma Stress was first published in 1993. "After the Falklands war it was noticed that those soldiers who returned home by plane were affected worse than those who returned by boat. The longer the journey home seemed to encourage people to talk more and share their experiences, which was helpful to their recovery.
"The military now recognise the importance of psychological debriefing and provide personnel with a period of decompression out in Cyprus after their tour, where they have the chance to do exercise, get information and consider how to reintegrate into civilian life."
The work of the Swindon-based group is very much in demand. “Our past two annual conferences have both been very well attended by forces’ veterans from the UK and overseas,” said Richard Hilling, group chairman.
He added that the group is also in contact with Dr Andrew Murrison, MP for Westbury, who has been tasked with finding out how to help ex-service personnel.
Conference details – Saturday 11 September, 10.30am to 5pm, at Learning for Life, Basepoint Business Centre, Westlea, Swindon. Workshop on Post Trauma Stress/Shellshock Treatment and Support- Myth or Reality. Cost inc. refreshments and buffet: £25 per person.
For details contact Dick Hilling on 608781, or mail: firstname.lastname@example.org