A VETERAN from Newbury has been featured in a new Help for Heroes campaign encouraging ex-service personnel to get support if they feel they are suffering from mental health issues.
Former Corporal, Daniel Grobler, appears in the short video which aims to highlight some of the common factors experienced by those suffering from mental health issues as well as how and where to find help.
The charity’s Hidden Wounds service released the 45 second clip (watch the video below) in the run up to ‘Blue Monday’ (January 16 2017) - a day in January reported to be the most depressing day of the year, and for many former military personnel a tough time of the New Year.
Following the video’s release Mr Grobler has called for a “change of culture” in the hope that more ex-servicemen and women will seek help if needed.
He said: “Don’t sit at home, you’re not alone. As a group the military are very good at bottling things away but this culture needs to change.
“For many years I was proud, not wanting to show fear or that I was broken or hurting, but I encourage people to take that next step.
“It’s not a sign of weakness to get help. Help for Heroes have really helped me and my family along the way.”
Mr Grobler served with the Army Air Corp and served tours in Germany, Brunei, Iraq and Afghanistan throughout his military career.
While serving in Brunei he was involved in a road traffic accident returning from work on his motorbike when a vehicle pulled out from behind a lorry to overtake – colliding with the motorbike and dragging him 50 meters down the road.
After a challenging period where he had to overcome the physical injuries following the accident, Mr Grobler says he also started to struggle with his mental health.
The charity has since helped him and his family in a number of ways including providing a grant for archery equipment, enabling him to train and also to teach his daughter Megan – who now enjoys archery with her dad.
“The sports I do have helped me at opposite ends of the spectrum,” he explained.
“Archery helps me focus and takes away anything going on in my head. Wheelchair rugby provides me with a way of venting anger and working out my frustrations.”
As a result Mr Grobler secured a place on the UK team at the inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014 and again in 2016.
Offering advice to others who may think they're experiencing mental health issues the ex-serviceman suggests looking out for things that he recognised before taking that step and asking for help.
“Anxiety was a big thing for me, I was always such a confident person but anxiety changed my life and I tried to fight it for too long. Depression is another, I noticed that things that used to bring me joy didn’t anymore, and I was left in a dark place.
“These might be things you recognise in yourself and if so, I’d really urge you to reach out for help.”
If you or someone you know is suffering with their mental health, you can contact Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds on 0808 2020 144, email email@example.com or visit www.helpforheroes.org.uk/hidden-wounds