Page last updated at 18:00 GMT, Sunday, 20 September 2009 19:00 UK

Surf camp successful for veterans


War veteran David Wiseman talks to BBC Spotlight reporter Louise Walter about how suring helps fight the symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder

Six war veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have hailed a new two-day surf camp in Cornwall a success.

The camp at Gwithian Beach was arranged by former soldier Rich Emerson, from Hayle, who also suffers from PTSD.

David Wiseman from Newton Abbot in Devon has suffered from PTSD since leaving the Royal Navy.

"I've found the camaraderie to be something I've missed and the surfing has been really good fun," he said.

Symptoms of PTSD include depression, anxiety and uncontrollable rage, making every-day life a struggle.

Wave focus

"You're on edge all the time - hyper vigilant," said former soldier Mike Lehardy, who has struggled since leaving the Army in 1985 and is currently unemployed.

"Relationships disappear, you can't hold down a job and you live with this mess," he told BBC News.

Mr Emerson believes concentrating your energy and focus on the waves helps stop you worrying about anything else.

The 43-year-old served with the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars as a tank crewman in 1991, during the first Gulf war in Iraq.

The former military personnel who took part in the surf camp said it had been a positive experience and they hoped it was the first of many.

Print Sponsor

Stressed veterans hit the waves
18 Sep 09 |  Cornwall
Surf therapy for stressed veterans
30 Jun 09 |  Cornwall

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