So seeing as I'm TWC's very own representative mental case nutjob, this PSA is basically saying 'Yo. It's mental health week. Big whoop and whatever.'
We're all largely in support of military charities (H4H, the Invictus games, etc.) but obviously there are more wounds carried away from the battlefield inside troopers' heads rather than physically. Things like PTSD and combat related stress played a major role in the conviction (and subsequent overturning of conviction) for Marine A, Sgt. Alexander Blackman, who was charged with and jailed for Murder when he found a wounded Taliban fighter in a field following a strike by an Apache. He pointed a Browning HP at his chest and fired. It was all caught on camera (I'm sure Jefro can provide a link
Obviously, what actually happened was wrong and in violation of the laws British servicemen must adhere to in times of war (particularly the provision of care as stated in the Geneva Convention in this case), but on review of the case both personally and in court, there were clear signals of a deterioration in mental and emotional culpability for some time; none of which were acted upon by superiors.
Personally, you all know I'm struggling to cope with a hell of a lot of shit at the minute and have been for several years, so today, I had an initial consultancy appointment with a mental health service over the phone which lasted for about an hour and a quarter and fuck me was it difficult.
The thing is, I feel better about my situation than I have ever done simply because the guy on the other end of the phone (after I told him the history and context for how and why I and others thing I have a problem upstairs) told me that he's amazed I've coping as well as I have after the amount of shit I've been through and how long it's been going on.
It wasn't just talking about it that made me feel better though, I think it was just the fact that he said 'Fair play bud, you're doing seriously well for yourself all things considered! That'd be enough to put most people suicidal!' that put a hint of a smile on my face.
This isn't to say, however, that everyone who has an issue wants to talk about it. It's not for everyone. I've been struggling for around about 6 years now and it's only recently that I'm finding help, but I've always been happy to talk to anyone who wants to ask, but no-one has.
Thing is, I'm not most people.
Long story short, keep an eye out for a brother. You never know if what you might say could save a life. If you notice something off, obviously you will know them better, so judge and ask if something's up, or just ask if they fancy grabbing a pint and playing a game of pool or two. I could have been saved a lot of trouble if someone wanted to get the cues out over a lager, but there we go. Something about 'hindsight' and 'a trip to Specsavers'...
I'm nowhere near getting my head right, in fact, it's not been right for so long that I've forgotten what 'right' is, but I'm not alone and I know that it's going to be a harder fight for a while yet before it improves, but you lot know how I think, and obviously not everyone thinks like I do.
Keep an eye out for a brother, guys.