Ex-military speakers will be offering support to those struggling with mental health issues during the Covid-19 lockdown with a series of Facebook Live appearances over the coming weeks.
This Friday (May 15th) at 4pm International wheelchair rugby star Stuart Robinson, who had both his legs amputated after being injured by a Taliban bomb during his 4th tour of Afghanistan, will be talking about his experiences and answering questions.
Stuart, a former Corporal in the Royal Air Force, has enjoyed success at the Invictus Games and the European and World Championships since taking up the sport in 2014.
He said: “In 2013 I was deployed on my fourth operation tour of Afghanistan. We headed out to a local village and my next recollection is waking up in hospital eight weeks later.
“We had driven over an improvised explosive device that left me and my crew with life-changing injuries.
“My goal has always been to be the best I can be through my military career and now my sporting career.
“I hope that my story will help inspire and support anyone who may be struggling with mental health issues during these unprecedented times.”
To view the live broadcast visit https://www.facebook.com/theoppofoundation/
The Facebook broadcasts are being organised by The OppO Foundation to help people struggling with mental health issues during the pandemic.
Kayam Iqbal, who founded the charity in 2014 to help ex-military personnel and their families on their return to civilian life, said: “Our objective is to provide inspirational speakers during Covid-19 and hopefully inspire people, motivate and importantly tackle any mental health issues people maybe facing.
“All our speakers have been through mental health issues of their own and as we are all in ‘lockdown’ to hear their stories on the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them, we feel that this could provide some real positive words of encouragement to the public.”
There will be a Q&A session during each event where the speakers are happy to talk candidly about their experiences and answers any questions viewers may have.
“As a country, now more so than ever, we have to come together, stay strong, stay safe and support one another,” added Kayam.
Kayam, a former RAF Medic/Intelligence Specialist and British Muslim, was medically discharged for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following 11 years’ service, during which he completed tours of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Like many others with mental health issues, I find each day a struggle, more so now during lockdown,” he continued.
“However, by bringing people together and hopefully offering an insight into some of these inspirational people, you can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and know you are not alone.”
The OppO Foundation is providing this service at no cost. However, if any viewer wishes to make a donation the money raised will be split between the NHS and the OppO Foundation.
To make a donation visit: https://www.justgiving.com/oppo-foundation.