Local man John Grant has thanked a little known charity for their helping him deal with post traumatic stress disorder following service in the armed forces.
Mr Grant explained to us that he had lived with the stress for 19 years before it intensified and he made attempts on his own life.
Diagnosed with depression, originally, a second doctor later identified the symptoms of PTSD and suggested the help of the charity Combat Stress, a charity which his wife, Audrey, and a friend had previously gathered information on at the time of his original diagnosis.
“My GP referred me to Combat Stress and I received a home visit. A few months later, I was invited to Hollybush House in Ayr for assessment,” Mr Grant said.
He continues: “I was made very welcome by the staff there, who understood exactly what I was going through, and were specially trained to help. In August, this year, I was again invited back, this time to take part in an intensive six week programme.
“The six weeks was very difficult, both to myself and family, but I knew it had to be done. During the six weeks, the helped me deal with my anger, relationships, nightmares and flashbacks.
“Although I have went through this programme, there is no cure. I will always suffer, but hopfull they have given me the tools to try and cope. I still have a very long road to travel, and there are no guarantees.
“If it were not for this little known organisation, I fear that I would not be here now. They are not supported by the Government, and rely on charitable donations and funding from the NHS.
“In their latest report, they state that they hope to help 280 veterans by offering them places on the six week programme.”
Mr Grant urges anyone living with PTSD to contact the charity via their website, www.combatstress.org.uk, saying that it is the best thing he has done.
Founded in 1919, Combat Stress’ current caseload has more than 5,400 veterans.
“Please do not suffer in silence. There is help out there. I probably owe my life to Combat Stress and cannot thank them enough for the work they do.
“Combat Stress, I salute you,” he adds.