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Shrewsbury military hero to be guest speaker at PTSD event

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

A Shropshire military hero, who sued the Ministry of Defence for failing to diagnose his post-traumatic stress disorder, will be guest speaker at an event next month to raise awareness about the condition.

Matthew Bispham

Matthew Bispham, from Shrewsbury, was awarded the Military Cross for ‘unflinching courage’ during an action in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2007.

The Royal Marine later began suffering mental health problems, and was finally diagnosed with PTSD in 2015.

He was medically discharged two years later.

Matthew will be one of three speakers at an event being hosted jointly by Armed Forces Covenant members Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors and AJ Case Management at University Centre Shrewsbury on Monday, September 9.

The Past, Present, Future is an introduction to PTSD for professionals, and the objectives of the course include understanding what PTSD is and how it differs from other mental health issues; effects of PTSD - primary, secondary and tertiary; recognising PTSD; related issues; treatment options; treatment outcomes and getting help and available resources.

Matthew said accepting that his career caused PTSD, when it was a career he loved, had been difficult for him to deal with, leading to a decision to sell his Military Cross.

He said: “I was delighted to accept the invitation to speak at this event and be given the opportunity to help raise awareness and understanding of PTSD.

“It is through events such as these that more people are becoming more knowledgeable about the condition and what steps need to be taken to help those suffering from it.

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Matthew Bispham getting his Military Cross

“In December 2017 I was medically discharged from my career as a Royal Marine after 12 years’ service due to PTSD and it has taken a long time to truly appreciate the effects of PTSD on my life, despite years of treatment.

“As part of the course, I will be sharing my personal journey of realising the symptoms I was experiencing required professional help, going through treatment and coming to terms with the long-term effects of the condition.

“I hope sharing those experiences will provide some insight into how my life has been altered by PTSD and help those who come along on the day to help and understand those suffering with the condition.”

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Louise Howard, associate solicitor with Lanyon Bowdler and host for the day, said everyone was welcome to come to the event but it was important to book in advance.

She added: “We are hoping to attract professionals from the military, NHS, statutory services, independent therapists, case managers, private clinicians and solicitors.

“It will be a really valuable introduction for anyone involved in treating PTSD or providing support for people who are living with the condition.”

Other speakers include Missy L. Sell, mental health first aid England instructor, who has spent her entire career in the medical field, and Mark Perryman, a training manager and mental health first aid instructor, who served in the RAF and Royal Auxiliary Air Force as a medic.

The event takes place between 9.30am and 4.30pm on September 9, the cost is £95 with buffet lunch and refreshments included.

Advanced booking only at http://bit.ly/DMWSPTSD

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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