Jim Novak Day two of walk across America Credit Jim Novak Twitter 130419
Mental Health

US Army Veteran Treks Across America To Raise Awareness Of PTSD

Jim Novak is walking over 3,000 miles to raise awareness about PTSD and suicide among veterans.

Jim Novak Day two of walk across America Credit Jim Novak Twitter 130419

Jim Novak started the mammoth challenge on 22 March (Picture: Jim Novak/Twitter).

A former US Army Sergeant is trekking across America to raise awareness about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and suicide among veterans, after battling anxiety and depression for most of his adult life.

Retired Army Sergeant Jim Novak served for 21 years in the US Army Chemical Corps and is now three weeks into his mammoth walk.

His aim is to walk more than 3,000 miles in just five months.

He will complete around 22 miles a day, unsupported, with his sights set on the finish line at Disney World Florida.

His journey is being documented on social media, with regular updates.

During his time in the US Army, Mr Novak was deployed to a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and embarked on two combat tours in Iraq.

He later suffered from what is known as 'survivor's guilt' after his base in Iraq was bombed.

Survivor's guilt is a mental condition experienced by a person who feels they have done something wrong by surviving a life-threatening event.

Mr Novak is now trying to encourage more veterans that may be struggling to reach out and ask for help.

On his website he posted:

"Seeking help and reaching out is difficult and it requires courage, but it is a sign of strength and a sign of resiliency.

"If you need help, I am here for you. Please reach out and let someone help you. You are important! You are valuable! You are irreplaceable!"

It is possible to track Mr Novak's progress online.