PTSD and Invisible Injuries with Andy Fermo
In this episode we talk to Andy Fermo from Invisible Injuries about his journey to becoming a special forces soldier and then impact that had on him from a mental health perspective.
"When the dust settled" after 10 years military service and two active "Tours of duty" with Australian Special Forces, surviving the impact of an Improvised Explosive Device and near death scenarios Andy found himself in a dark hole, seeking purpose and carrying baggage that affected everyday life.
Diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) in 2001 over the years he's sought to create purpose and meaning based on a work/lifestyle that is designed around being positive and mindful of his condition.
This isn't always the case, it's easy to quickly derail and at Christmas 2018 a combination of unforeseen circumstances and events saw his mental health deteriorate. It was at this low point, whilst camping and close to being homeless the idea of Invisible Injuries was born.
Early in his journey to recover Andy learned how to navigate and seek out support services. Now was the time to enact his self-care plan, accessing support systems and doing the work to get back on his feet.
Now Andy shares his lived experience and those of his peers so he could better the mental-health and wellbeing of veterans, first responders and their immediate support experiencing PTSD. Through hosting the Invisible Injuries podcast, Holistic self-care ideas, connecting support services to the user and creating an "all-in-one" online resource.
Andy has guested on many podcasts interviews and public speaking events, also being published in Stories of Hope and is an active member of the community volunteering his time with numerous ex-services organisations.
Links Mentioned in this Episode
Recovering from Ground Zero Course
Finding Your Why