British Army Mental Resilience Trainers visited D-Day Veterans at The Royal Hospital Chelsea to discuss how the Army's approach to mental health training has changed over the years.
Colour Sergeant Austin Lindsay, Royal Irish Regiment, and Bombardier Jimmy Elliot, 7 Para Royal Horse Artillery, are part of the team responsible for training Army recruits in mental resilience; giving soldiers the tools to help themselves and others deal with mental health issues. The two serving soldiers met with Chelsea pensioners to make the most of the wealth of knowledge Army Veterans have on the subject.
You help each other, don’t you? D-Day veteran, Bill Fitzgerald
D-Day veteran, Bill Fitzgerald, was injured in during the second World War. He puts his own mental robustness partly down to growing up in London earlier in the war: "The Blitz toughened me up" he smiled, adding that the comradeship within the Army also played a role, "You help each other, don’t you? Having a laugh and a joke with your mates; you got on all right".
Bill puts his recovery after the war down to support from his family and friends, particularly his wife, whom he described as his full-time counsellor.
"When we were demobilised and sent home, we were on our own, there was no counselling, your family does it. And the more people you talk to the better. And you've got to keep active if you can"