Press release from Combat Stress
PRESS RELEASE 22 February 2010
Words of a Wolf
Veteran Publishes Poetry Book to raise profile of Veterans’ Mental Health Issues
Armed Forces Veteran and photographer, Wolf Sunkmanitu, has produced a book of poetry and photography to highlight Veterans’ mental health issues and raise money for the UK’s leading charity in the field, Combat Stress. The book, entitled Words of a Wolf, is being released Wednesday 24 February and is available via www.combatstress.org.uk and http://www.wolf-photography.com/html/books.html.
Of copies purchased via www.combatstress.org.uk, 25 % of the profits will be donated to the charity.
As well as acting as a fundraising exercise, the book also seeks to raise awareness of Veterans’ mental health issues and signpost those in need to organisations that can provide vital support.
Wolf served in Northern Ireland with the RAF Police in the 1980s and subsequently developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). His desire to educate stems from his own experiences with mental ill health and finding ways to cope with the psychological scars of serving in Northern Ireland.
“The condition wasn’t diagnosed until 1995, following a serious road accident. I spent a lot of years wondering what was wrong with me when I left Northern Ireland. I was afraid to talk about my feelings in a world where mental health issues left people further ostracised.
Since that time I’ve been on a journey within to understand myself and the condition in order to try and cope with it in my everyday life.
My poetry allows me to hang on to parts of my persona that might otherwise have been swallowed up by the PTSD, leaving me completely at the mercy of a debilitating condition, while the photography sets me free for a while.”
Further funds raised from book sales will go toward financing a national photographic and poetry exhibition to raise awareness of PTSD in Veterans and to demonstrate the value of creative therapies as coping mechanisms for PTSD.
For further information on Wolf’s creative works and Words of a Wolf, please visit http://wolfphotograpy.blogspot.com/ or http://www.wolf-photography.com - alternatively you can email Wolf at firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone 07971 997 710.
For more information about the work of Combat Stress, please visit www.combatstress.org.uk, email email@example.com, or telephone 01372 841647.
Notes to Editors:
Combat Stress is currently providing support for approximately 4,200 ex-Service men and women, including 77 who served in Afghanistan and 346 who served in Iraq.
Approximately 60% of Veterans receiving support from Combat Stress suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Other and co-existing conditions include depression, alcohol and/or drug abuse, anxiety and phobic disorders.
At Combat Stress, Art Therapy is an intervention that helps Veterans with PTSD reflect on, and process what they have experienced, in a visual way, without reliance on the power of words alone. We offer it as both individual and group therapy. The group format is particularly helpful in the context of trauma: it can promote a sense of connectedness and reduce isolation; it can also increase insight into other people’s experiences and improve self-awareness.
With 1,257 new cases referred to Combat Stress last year alone, the charity is under constant pressure to meet an ever growing need its unique help.
Date of release 24 Feb 2010.