Michael, former special forces officer

Michael, 35, Ex Special Forces Officer, left the Army in 2018 and in June he was diagnosed with PTSD.

“I was suffering with my mental health, depression and my anxiety was high.

"I had removed myself from family life, I was keeping it together at work but not at home.

"His wife reached out to a charity for support and they found Steps to Wellbeing.

“I started to receive support from Kisi at Steps in person and since COVID we have been using digital platforms.

"Steps 2 Wellbeing has changed my life, I couldn’t do bath time with the kids three months ago and now I am looking after them, thanks to the guidance of Kisi, the transformation is outstanding.”

Kindness is the theme for Mental Health Awareness week and understanding, feeling and sharing Kindness has been a big part of Mike’s Journey.

“Kindness has been a huge part of what we have been doing, I had compassion for others generally but it wasn’t something I would think about deeply or even really show towards myself.

"I had to do a lot of home work on kindness and compassion and practice it with myself, family if you have a difficult conversation with someone.

"For me Kindness is something I have really engaged with. After treatment I feel compassion for others what they might be going through. Being kind to others helps me be kind to myself.

"My GP was excellent, incredibly compassionate.

"If you are experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety but not sure about reaching out speak to someone that you trust as a first step.

“Being pushed by my wife and family to search for information was hugely influential in me receiving help. It does take courage, if you are considering it you have to take the step forward and ask for help, there is nothing to lose.

In the forces courage is something we talk about a lot, it is incredibly courageous to ask for help and my god it is worth it. I would say the survey you answer over the phone was difficult, it may make you cry but it is worth it.”

Find out more about Steps 2 Wellbeing and the support they provide.