Chris joined the Army when he was 17. He enjoyed his time in service, but everything changed when he was deployed to Iraq in 2007.
“Lots of things happened in the seven months I was there. But the biggest incident was towards the end of my deployment in 2007.
“I noticed I’d changed before I returned home – I didn't sleep for a week."
Chris remained in the Army until 2013. After leaving, he struggled with the transition to civilian life.
“I threw myself into my work as a distraction, but my life just spiralled. I was always on edge and the smallest things would set off my anger, which affected my then-wife and my three kids.”
It wasn’t long before Chris’ marriage collapsed. He became homeless, forced to sleep in his car.
“I parked in supermarket car parks, but the police would always come and move me on so I took to parking in laybys. I contacted the council and lots of different charities but because I was still working, I wasn’t entitled to any help.”
“I couldn’t get the deposit for a place together, so I had to book a hotel room every weekend just to see my kids.
“Things got so bad, I tried to take my own life.”
At the end of 2014, Chris told his GP about what he’d been going through. His GP suggested getting in touch with us.
After making contact, Chris was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and subsequently completed the six-week PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme (ITP).
“The first thing I thought when I saw the other veterans was, ‘I’m not alone’. It was a really good feeling.”
During his treatment we helped Chris to apply for accommodation. On the last day of his treatment, Chris got the news that he’d been offered a flat.
“When I got the letter telling me to go and sign for my keys, I was buzzing.
“I look back at everything that’s happened and now I feel good about what I’ve achieved. Now I’ve got a girlfriend, we have a house together and my kids come to stay every weekend.
“It’s such a difference to how my life was.”