How Making Miniature Models Is Helping Veterans Recover
Whilst model making, the veterans can focus solely on the tiny details of their work rather than their mental or physical pain.
A veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), has found relief through making and painting model planes, trains and figures.
Former RAF Fireman Paul Metcalf was in a dark place for many years - at his lowest point, he was sleeping in his car and even tried to take his own life.
He has now decided to help other veterans by setting up a modelling club at Catterick’s Help for Heroes recovery centre. A small group of veterans meet on a regular basis to sit quietly and paint miniature models.
“I think it’s just the concentration,” Mr Metcalf told Forces News, when asked why he enjoyed model painting.
“You get into this zone and you’re not thinking about anything else.
"You just concentrate on what you’re doing so you’re not thinking about bad things.”
Research suggests it takes veterans on average four years to seek help for psychological wounds. Mr Metcalf is now an ambassador for Help for Heroes’ Cut the Clock campaign that aims to reduce mental health stigma.
Mr Metcalf says his life is now better but he continues to struggle with PTSD.
“I’ve got a flat now in Penrith… It’s great I absolutely love it there and I’ve got a double bed, I’ve got all that sort of stuff but I’ve never actually slept in my bed yet because I think I'm going to have nightmares and flashbacks," he explained.
“So I actually take my medication, sit on the sofa with the tele on and wake up in the morning.”