Tackling PTSD Through Art | Amazing Humans

After leaving the forces, uh,
I struggled for employment for about a year or so. Not having any job opportunities
down in the local area, you know… PTSD is something that
encompasses someone’s life. It also can be really
socially isolating. And the gallery gives
them a place to come where they can feel accepted. I’m a veteran and a war artist. And, uh, I’ve started a charity
down in Pembrokeshire which helps people in our community that
suffer from mental health and, uh, social exclusion issues. And they work using
the medium of art. Art therapy is a chance for
people to express themselves. Then what happens is if they
feel like they need to talk or they need to be able
to get further help, then they can come
and speak to us, as well. With, uh, Dan the man here.
Dan has done some amazing work on this project. Now, we don’t expect you guys
to be at this standard straight away today, OK? We’ll wait until tomorrow. But, uh, yeah, you’ll get there,
by the end of the… So, I know first hand
what art can bring. Because, uh, I
practise what I preach. While I was serving, I used
art as a way of processing lots of things that I’d seen and a lot of things I witnessed. The main reason why I left the
forces and I used my pension to set the charity up was because
I just knew it would work. And if a soldier comes in,
speaks to another soldier, we have a bit more credibility
straight away, to be able to say to them,
“Look, you know, “you need to get some help.” Sometimes it works
and sometimes it doesn’t. But I want to make sure that having
the galleries in Pembrokeshire gives everyone the opportunity
to, at least, try. Coming here and working with Barry, uh, helped build up
my confidence again. You put them things aside and
you’re there to help other people, so it, sort of, helps you
at the same time. You know, gives you a reason
to actually get up, get out of the house. What, are you doing
the gallery itself? Seeing someone being able
to express themselves with art, it really, kind of,
brings them out. And also can… I can see
a different person, they can see a
different person in me. It’s a sense of achievement
that they’ve come in and then created a painting. There’s probably
nothing more rewarding. Seeing an idea come to fruition with
all the veterans and the volunteers wanting to give their time, passion
and energy and then they give that sense of social
responsibility back, it’s so rewarding for me. I can’t… I can’t put it
into words, really. It’s a fabulous piece of work here. I think you did that
in one session, didn’t you? Uh, yeah. I just finished
it off the week after. Unbelievable, half an hour. Half an hour. Just a half an hour.
Two and a half hours. Champion. One and a bit sessions.

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