Mental Health

Walk A Mile In My Boots For Mental Health With SAS Who Dares Wins’ Nathaniel

You know the idiom - before you judge someone, walk a mile in their shoes. Here, the boots are on.

Reality show SAS Who Dares Wins contestant Nathaniel Shaw has invited others to walk a mile in his boots as he helps promote the message of good mental health for all as part of Mental Health Awareness Week 2019.

In a project with Forces Network, Nathaniel is helping to have a positive influence on tackling mental health issues by inviting others to join him as he walks and talks to share his personal journey of recovery after experiencing some of those issues himself – and get the message out that there is way for everyone to get themselves to a better place mentally.

Nathaniel said better mental health is something you have to keep fighting for but eventually everyone can beat their problems and get to a better place.

He added:

“And remember not to give up because things will get better.

“It takes time.”

Nathaniel SAS Who Dares WIns

Mental health problems can affect anyone, at any time – and this project aims to make mental health everyone’s business and encourage an open and candid conversation about the issues people face – from stress to depression and anxiety to feelings of isolation and loneliness to other anxiety and stress disorders following trauma to problems with alcohol or other substance abuse.

To promote an open discussion around mental health and encourage people to talk about their issues in a positive environment, the Walk A Mile In My Boots project invites you to also walk and talk about your own issues and share your stories with the Forces Network community.

In selfie mode on your phones, share your story by walking somewhere you go daily as you take a break – like a walk in the park, a walk to the gym, or other space that has a positive effect on your mental wellbeing – and follow Nathaniel's example to promote an open, positive discussion.

No one should be made to feel ashamed or isolated because of a mental health problem so by sharing stories, we aim to ensure everyone knows it is okay not to be okay and banish any prevailing stigma that might hold people back from getting help they need if they are struggling with their mental health.

It's okay not to be okay

So let’s get the conversation going – walk and talk and let everyone walk a mile in your boots by sharing your selfie videos, giving everyone a ‘direct window’ into your mental health journey for a minute or three.

It could be your journey to recovery and how you found a way to improve your mental health, or it could be a positive message to others not to give up, or your story of how you reached out to others to find help.

The message is that no one needs to suffer in silence – we can all work together to create an environment in which coming forward to get help for mental health issues seems an open and natural thing to do, not something that has to be hidden in the shadows.

In the video, Nathanial says: “My name is Nathanial Shaw. I was a recruit on SAS Who Dares Wins, and today I want you to walk a mile in my boots.

“I applied for the SAS Who Dares Wins because I’m a fan of the military discipline, lifestyle, structure – things that I needed in my life – due to my mental health which resulted, in my first year of university, me trying to take my life.

“When I was lying on my back in a dark place, I was able to get myself out. You know, train for the show, get on the show and I took a lot away from the show, including a mindset that now, if I have a problem, I always find a solution.

“Mental health is a journey, something that you just don’t get over overnight.

“It’s something you have to keep fighting for but eventually, you can beat mental health.

“Ways I go about trying to beat it is going on walks, meditating.

“Around my friends – I think social situations are very important – to not isolate yourself because I feel like that makes yourself worse.

“Also, don’t just rely on medication. If you going to go on medication, make sure you are going for walks, you are eating right, make sure you find an alternative and not just relying on one thing.

“And remember not to give up because things will get better.

“It takes time.”

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If you are currently serving or are a veteran and feel the need to speak to someone about your mental health don't hesitate to contact Combat Stress. or you can contact Military Mental Health Helpline on 0800 323 4444 for advice or support.