The project aims to support members of the military and blue-light communities who are enduring poor mental health as a result of the operational experiences.
Managing Director Sean McCallum, who co-lead the psychological recovery team in the aftermath of the London terror attacks of 2017 and the Grenfell Tower disaster, believes that the project will improve mental health outcomes for those affected by posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression:
‘Many ex-military and bluelight personnel don’t feel able to talk about their mental health issues, for a range of reasons, but particularly because normative counsellors or therapists simply do not understand them or cannot relate to some of the more extreme experiences that they are exposed to during their operational duties. Our facilitators however, have all served in the military or bluelight services – they understand, because they’ve been there, and they speak the same language.’
Whilst many 3rd sector projects concentrate on raising awareness regarding mental health, the Black Dog project will focus on providing evidence-based and effective treatment not currently available through the national Health Service.
Research figures have shown that we can reduce levels of PTSD symptoms by as much as 50% in one session – figures which the NHS can’t achieve using normative counselling and therapies. We have already heled a number of officers to resolve their trauma, but there is much more to be done.
A key element of our success are our principles – these are the way in which we assure clients that they won’t be judged, analysed, advised or labelled.
Sean McCallum said ‘The techniques we use are highly effective in reducing the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety and depression, and our person-centred approach to supporting people means that we never judge, analyse or interpret the material being discussed. We find that our approach is consistently successful and we have supported a number of officers who are now leading positive and happy lives again following PTSD.
The project has also launched a page on the Robin Hood Lottery in order to gather the funds required to maintain a safe, confidential and discreet facility which to support those who have served, anyone who wishes to support the project can buy lottery tickets, with 50p per ticket being allocated directly to the project’s funds.
If you, a friend, or a member of your family could benefit from some support, then please visit www.blackdog.site to find out how we can help resolve issues of trauma, anxiety and depression.