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After spending time in the Middle East, Alan battled severe PTSD and turned to the MCF for support.

“Policing in the RAF was pretty much exactly the same as any other police force. I would do foot patrols and community policing; road traffic and crossing control for primary school children on the base; I was investigating crimes and arresting people – everything!

“When I was in the Middle East, there was an incident involving an aircraft which I had to investigate, and it was from this that I would develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The effects of trauma don’t always show straight away – sometimes it takes a while for something to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, which is what happened to me a few months later. That breaking turned hospital visits, sedation, lots of time off work and the RAF mental health team intervening. I carried on for another three years until my health, both physically and mentally, got to a point where I was medically discharged.

“The day after I was discharged, there was the phone call from the RAF medical team. Whilst it wasn’t an order as I wasn’t in the military anymore, it was a “go to the doctor, now” conversation – so that’s what I did. I went to my GP but the support I needed wasn’t available on the NHS.  My GP suggested the a veteran’s charity, so I spent some time with them, but once again I didn’t fit into their treatment programme because of the complex trauma, so they also discharged me.

“My family was struggling financially, I wasn’t attending lodge meetings, and I was ignoring phone calls and emails. I don’t think anybody really likes to go cap-in-hand asking for anything, but when you get as low as I did, I had to do something. I reached out to my almoner and he put me in touch with the MCF.

“Thanks to the MCF, I’ve now been having the treatment I need every week for over a year, with an incredible therapist who specialises in eye movement desensiitisation and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). The EMDR is helping with the traumatic images; it’s not a quick process as there are so many, but I really do feel now that we are starting to make progress and i’m finding daily life easier. I can honestly say that treatment that I should have got years ago, is working. I don’t know how, but it is working.”

If you are suffering with poor mental health, get in touch with us today: 0800 035 60 90 or email help@mcf.org.uk

 

Our Impact

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