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The military mental health organisation, Rock2Recovery, treat some of our clients suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mental health difficulties. We asked their co-founder Jamie Sanderson to tell us his story.

There I was in Afghanistan, for the second time, a rough and tough Yorkshire man in the Royal Marines and I was finding it hard. I was a sergeant, a leader, a sniper and one of the people others looked up to as an example of how to behave in difficult conditions.

This wasn’t just the strain from being in a combat zone where every day could be your last, I was starting to suffer mentally and didn’t feel like myself anymore. At first, I tried to hide it but eventually I was diagnosed with PTSD and sent to Plymouth, where wounded Royal Marines go for rehabilitation.

I was put on a course of Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprogramming, which does a lot of good to many but not me. I spent a week getting over the experience as it made me feel worse and then a week worrying about my next appointment. When I told my therapist this, she responded by shutting her book and saying that there was nothing more she could do.

Reaching my lowest ebb and responding

My abandonment felt complete and very shortly afterwards my wife had to stop me from taking my own life.

Thankfully with the help of a life coach and together with my close friend Jason Fox, from SAS: Who Dares Wins fame, we started using non-clinical techniques to retrain the brain into accepting the past and concentrating on how to refocus on the future.

After some time Jason and I realised how specialist change management coaching, combined with creative, sporting or therapeutic activities, can motivate people to move forward in their lives. So we got together and merged these strands into Rock2Recovery, the organisation which offers one-to-one coaching to help clients refocus and find the activity, or ‘rock’ that will help them on the road to recovery.

Our approach is to inspire, coach and motivate clients towards a more positive future. We find that this works for many and, in particular, for those that have tried the established therapies.

There are two key parts to the work we do. The first phase is that clients reach out for help and we provide one-to-one coaching that is specific to their requirements. The second phase puts the onus on the clients helping themselves. This is the rock in their lives that will motivate, inspire and encourage them to positively re-focus.

So far we have helped over 350 individuals but we have no magic wand, just a caring team and some outstanding coaches who strive to help people emerge from their shadows.

If you want to know more then visit our website rock2recovery.co.uk


Inspiring

In December, we were delighted when Jamie Sanderson and Jason Fox came in to our Manchester office to talk more about Rock2Recovery and the release of Jason’s new book ‘Battle Scars’.

The event coincided with our firm wide mental health and well-being initiative which has included a new training programme for all of our leaders.

Their message was clear - there isn’t a single solution that can fit every mental health problem but asking for help is the first place to start. In their talk to a packed room both Jamie and Jason emphasised the importance of changing perceptions on mental health and promoting creativity, activity and therapy as techniques to help manage people’s needs.

A must read book

Jason’s book is brutally honest and has a strong focus on mental health, reinforcing the messages delivered by Rock2Recovery. Battle Scars takes the reader on Jason’s journey and shares his personal battles through diagnosis, medical discharge and then his road to recovery. It provides the reader with a personal insight into something we sadly hear on a regular basis from our clients.

It is summed up best by a line Jason refers to time and again – “positive change is always possible, so rethink your thinking.”

Jason’s book ‘Battle Scars: A Story of War and All That Follows’ is out now.

Published: April 2019


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Spring 2019

Key Contact

Geraldine McCool

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