Raising awareness of Mental Health & PTSD within the Emergency Services
As a former solider and member of 22 SAS, I have served in various conflicts around the globe. I understand the mental trauma being faced by our emergency services every day. I fully support the Big22 and the charity PTSD999 in their relentless work to raise awareness of PTSD within the blue light community. Its Ok to talk.
Andy McNab DCM MM
In the last few weeks, you may have seen videos of your friends doing 22 push ups on Facebook. This challenge was initiated to raise awareness of PTSD and mental health issues that are suffered by our emergency services and military personnel.
Coastguard Winchman Paramedic, Andy Elwood, is taking this challenge one BIG step further, and he needs your support!!
If you have ever called 999, you will most likely have experienced some kind of shock, fear, panic, trauma, stress or helplessness. When the Coastguard helicopter, ambulance, fire engine, police car, lifeboat or any other rescue vehicle arrives, the guys and girls that get out to help you provide the reassurance, medical help, comfort and calm that you desperately need. They work hard to give everything they have to help anyone, regardless of that person’s background or part they have played in the incident.
But these people are human beings too and sometimes, despite all their training, experience and bravery, they too take some of that shock, fear, panic, trauma, stress and helplessness home with them.
PTSD can hit anyone at any time. It can be the result of years of exposure to events or just one incident that has a profound effect on the rescuer. Our emergency services and military personnel, just like the rest of us, experience the emotions and personal life events that make us who we are but their exposure to so many others’ darkest moments can sometimes be too hard to handle.
Andy Elwood knows first-hand how incredibly important it is for our emergency services to have access to the support and counselling required to pull them out or prevent them heading towards the ‘black hole’ of PTSD. In order to raise awareness and really make a massive step towards conquering this problem, he has set himself the enormous task of THE BIG 22!
On Monday 22 August, he will be bringing together emergency service personnel, veterans, volunteers and supporters who believe that “it’s ok to talk” about PTSD, from all over the country to take part in a joined up 22 push up challenge. Andy says “Doing press-ups with your colleagues, mates, other veterans and like-minded people is much better. The idea is not to be alone, not to suffer in silence. The idea is that it’s good to talk and share, to move on and to continue to serve our communities and our country. We should support and look after each other.”
WHAT YOU CAN DO
We are asking you to do anything you can to raise awareness and support our 999 Family as they come together to show their own strength in the face of PTSD by taking part in THE BIG 22.
SHARE: Share this website with your friends and colleagues. Follow #Big22 and #ItsOkayToTalk on Facebook and Twitter and let’s get #Big22 trending!
HELP: Show your support for anyone you know in the emergency services or military and for everyone taking part in this amazing challenge by asking others to get involved and doing what they can to support.
By asking others to get involved and doing what they can to support. Add your own #Challenge22 video below!!
DONATE: The #Big22 challenge aims to raise awareness of PTSD but also raise money to support sufferers and help them get on with their lives. Please see details below to donate to the PTSD999 – Blue Hero Foundation.