As there has been a lot of work, conversations, research and thought gone into the free helpline that we set up in January, and with our efforts to reform the military charities sector and close the excessively large gaps in the system, I thought an update was in order to let everyone know what’s going on.
I had a great conversation with Lord Dannatt last month and he is in full agreement with our purpose in setting up the free helpline (which has morphed into a treatment line, more on that shortly) and what we are doing and has kindly given his full support and backing ongoing.
Meanwhile my friend and colleague David Bellamy has been communicating with General Peter Currie, General Andrew Graham, General Sir John McColl, chariman of COBSEO and Colonel David Richmond, chairman of the Contact Group set up by Prince Harry, they too are in agreement that the militray charities sector needs shaking up, tightening up and reforming which is now beginning to happen.
David Bellamy is an extraordinary man with one hell of a life behind him. He was in the British Army and served in Dhofar in the 70’s during the Secret War. He has worked as a commercial diver, worked for Lloyds of London and was instrumental in setting up their first Kidnap and ransom insurance package. David, like myself was trained by Stephen Brooks, the founder of British Hypnosis Research and Training Institute and is the worlds best teacher of Ericksonian Hypnosis and Psychotherapy.
It has lead to a slight adjustment in our plan and the development of a name for this not for profit organisation we have created. So we are now called ICARUS, which stands for Immediate Care, Assessment and Rehabilitaion for Uniformed Services, which means we cover all branches of the military and emergency services because there are many veterans working in the civilian uniformed services that deal with horrendous situations on a regular basis and also may well need our help.
The history behind ICARUS is the ancient Greek story of Icarus and his father Daedalus who told his son not to fly too close to the sun with his homemade wings of feathers and wax as the heat from the sun would melt the wax and he would fall into the sea and drown. So the story is about high flying ambition, which is what we have for the accessibility of the best treatment for all uniformed services and veterans. The psychological element of it, the Icarus Complex, which is about the highs and lows of what used to be called Manic Depression and is now Bipolar Disorder, our aim is to help anyone in the uniformed services with a mental illness to learn to deal with it and live a full, happy and successful life for them.
We wanted to be a not for profit becasue there are already 350 plus military charities in a system that is unregulated, poorly structured at present, and with no standards required to be fulfilled and is in desperate need of an overhaul. This is by no means meant to undermine the extraordinary and excellent work being done by so many in this sector, purely that it can be tightened up and improved so that people do not fall through the net, are not turned away or dropped because they are unable to commit to systems that are far too rigid for people with mental illness. And yes this does happen because these are precisely the people I have been treating for over ten years now.
The helpline is now a treatment line to fit with our new name and purpose, although we will provide any help we can in the process. We offer virtual treatment via phone, skype or any other form of video call to speed up access to help, as well as face to face treatment where possible. We are currently working on building a national network of therapists to assist us so if you are interested in getting involved or know someone who might be then please get in touch with me on email@example.com
Access to our services is open to anyone. In principle, no one will be refused. There will be no discrimination on grounds of length of service, reason for discharge, medical condition or disability, age, physical disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, political or other opinion. This is a free service open to all service personnel as set out in our constitution which you can find below.
The phone number stays the same 0800 689 0864
We are also having a website designed that will list all our therapists, each with a personal bio explaining what they do and how they work. All our therapists will be associates, they will be vetted and cleared by us to ensure that they have the appropriate insurance etc for the therapies they provide. The website is being designed by David Bellamy’s wife Mishi who is an amazing artist, so we are extremely fortunate to have this wonderful lady helping us out. Take a look at her fantastic work here: https://www.mishibellamy.net
We also have a gentleman called Stephen Finlayson who is coming on board to help us promote our services, reach more people and deliver what is needed to those that need. Stephen showed his huge heart and compassion a few years ago when he helped a homeless guy in his hometown of Carlisle, this man, Phil, turned out to be a veteran as well and Stephen helped him find somewhere to stay, put him in touch with the Royal British Legion and thankfully he is back on his feet, has a home, a job and a girflriend. Phil now helps veterans and is paying back in his own way. This story was covered in a documentary by the BBC and is quite emotional viewing.
Thanks to David Bellamy, we have one very interested coroporate sponsor who is keen to help us deliver our services and we are obviously looking for more to make sure that this not for profit can provide as much assisstance to those serving and veterans struggling with any form of mental illness, to live their lives to their fullest and be happy, functional and succeed. Another part of what we provide is ongoing coaching and mentoring for those that receive treatment from us for as long as they need, and also training those that are interested in becoming a qualified therapist, coach and mentor so that they are then capable of helping others that are in the same situation they used to be in.
If you are interested in helping us with sponsorship, donations or have any suggestions about people, organisations to speak to then please get in touch either through the phone number 0800 689 0864 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also approaching a few universities with the aim of having our program of treatment as a whole, independently monitored and assessed in order to garner external verification that what we do works. We know it does yet it is hugely beneficial to have that independant review and reassuring for those we help.
So lots has been done, lots is happening and lots still to do. Keep your eyes peeled for more updates as we make more and more progress.
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