Invictus Games

Army Veteran Says Invictus Games Training Helped His Mental Health

Danny Shanahan wants to inspire others to use sport as a tool for recovery

UK Invictus Games athlete Danny Shanahan says sport has helped him address his mental health issues and wants to inspire other veterans to use it as a tool for recovery.

The former soldier joined the Army at the age of 16 and served on operations in the Balkans and Iraq.

He was injured by a blast from a mortar attack during a tour of Iraq.  

"I suffered some sort of physical injuries for that which I managed to fight back"

Danny underwent treatment for his physical injuries throughout his service but it was his mental condition that lead to his discharge from the Army just before his 40th birthday.

He said being part of a team shielded him from his condition but when he found himself working and living on his own, he started to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Danny was medically discharged in 2016 and later diagnosed with PTSD earlier this year as a result of his experiences in Bosnia in 1995.

Mr Shanahan says he has come to terms with his mental health issues and pays tribute to Help for Heroes and his Invictus teammates for helping him.

“If I can inspire one more person to come forward – then that’s a gold medal for me”

Army veteran Danny Shanahan at Archery training for the Invictus Games.
Army veteran Danny Shanahan in Archery training for the Invictus Games.

He has been selected for Archery and Sitting Volleyball for the UK team.

Danny believes attitudes to people with mental health problems have changed and he is grateful that those around him understand his condition.  

He said, “There’s no perception or stigma attached to it.”

“Everyone’s just been so real about trying to help and be positive towards you to help you soldier on.”

UK Invictus Games sitting volleyball training
Danny Shanahan has also been selected for the UK Sitting Volleyball team at the Invictus Games.