Mental Injury & Illness
80% of those we work with suffer from mental illness, this often is in addition to life changing physical injuries. To an observer it is difficult to know whether an individual is suffering from mental illness. In Deptherapy, we work with those who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) as well as other anxiety disorders. Some suffer from acute forms of anxiety and depression, with some, from complex PTSD
Programme members frequently talk about being in 'a dark place', that dark place is PTSD, created by depression or anxiety disorders. Those suffering from mental illness report that once their head dips below the surface of the water their 'demons' and PTSD/ anxiety disappear. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), often caused by the concussive effect of an explosion has similar symptoms as PTSD.
For those suffering from PTSD, TBI or other anxiety disorders will relate to William Ernest Henley's poem 'Invictus' especially the lines: "Out of the night that covers me black as the pit from pole to pole." We aim to work with programme members who suffer from mental illness and help them to confront their demons. We offer 24/7 support and have a Buddy Peer Support Programme.
As with physical injury, programme members will need to be certified as fit to dive and will need to declare the medication they take and their daily dosages. Very often a group of drugs known as SSRIs are used to control mental illness. Some of these medications and combination of medications are contraindicated to diving.
There are a number of conditions that may prevent you from diving such as bipolar.
For those with diagnosed learning difficulties, you can be provided with support through the academic parts of the programme.
We are a supporter of the HeadsTogether programme and we encourage you engage in conversations with Deptherapy staff, your appointed Buddy and fellow programme members.
All our staff have attended and passed th two day course Mental Health First Aid for the Armed Forces' Community. We do not offer counselling or therapy we do however offer programme members the opportunity to talk, even when they are in 'that dark place'. Our training focuses on:
Assessing the risk of suicide or harm
Listening non judgmentally
Giving reassurance and information
Encourage appropriate professional health
Encourage self-help and other support strategies
Having conversations is great and creating visions for the future has proved to be very helpful.