• Michelle Partington

Invictus Revisited

So following my original post regarding the Invictus Games I have received some feedback. Apparently there was a lot of coverage on PTSD prior to the games and many suffering with PTSD took part. I am aware of those who took part and the figures stated in my original post stand. These were taken from individual biographies of all participants from the Invictus Games website.

I didn't watch any of the build up as I didn't want anything to set off my triggers. There was a statement made 'Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women...'. Not really very clearly stating hidden injuries to be fair. before the games.

Apparently PTSD a was featured in the BBC documentary 'Countdown to the Invictus Games: Meet the Warriors'. I was prepared to be settled and take back what I said about the games if there was enough coverage in this programme. I knew despite my triggers I would have to watch the programme so I did...

I watched the 1 hour programme and made the following observations:

The programme featured 4 servicemen all of which had been involved in an IED blast and received some horrendous injuries. Of those only 2 mentioned the incident has caused them mental scares. Out of the whole 1hr programme less than 3 minutes was given to mental scares; PTSD first mentioned half hour into the programme.

Interestingly during an interview with Chris Evans, Prince Harry stated "...a credit to their country, one minute they are on their back, missing limbs...or they've got injuries to their head, to their body or whatever it is to show how they've come from that to competing in amongst 430 other competitors....".

As stated the first mention of mental injuries was just after 25 minutes and following a big description on how the competitor obtained his physical injuries "The amount of IED's has psychologically scarred them for life....don't know anyone who hasn't come away without psychological issues....it's the invisible scars that are the most tragic".

The next time it's mentioned the longest concentration on the subject and the first time PTSD is mentioned. Following the (just over 2 minutes) coverage from the competitor it was stated that PTSD was "recently recognised condition which often lie under the surface....devastating consequences".

That's it, no more coverage. Just under 3 minutes to talk about an injury which can have devastating consequences. Throughout the hour long programme all 4 competitors spoke in depth about their physical injuries and how they have battled through their treatment. There was no mention about how invisible injuries are diagnosed and treated. This lack of coverage is disappointing and does nothing to support the campaign to end stigma of PTSD. I identified on my previous blog that a number of competitors had not suffered physical injuries but diagnosed with PTSD so why not interview one of those?.....

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