A FORMER RAF instructor who was forced to leave the service after a life-changing accident will be speaking about her mental health struggle to help others as she prepares to be Vice-captain for Team UK at the Invictus Games next year.
Kelly Leonard, 42, who lost the use of her foot in the accident, which forced her to leave her position as a Physical Training Instructor, is sharing her story on Facebook Live this Friday (June 19) at 4pm to inspire and motivate those who are struggling with their mental health during the Coronavirus lockdown.
She said: “I struggled with my mental health after the accident and lost focus on sport. It left me with a complete loss of confidence and self-belief.
“I’m hoping that my appearance on Facebook Live will help those who are struggling with isolation and their mental health during the current situation.
“Viewers can also ask questions and get involved in the discussion about the issues I and many others have faced.”
To view the live broadcast visit https://www.facebook.com/theoppofoundation/
Kelly is the latest ex-military speaker to take in the broadcasts, which are being organised by The OppO Foundation to help people struggling with mental health issues during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kayam Iqbal, who founded the charity in 2014 to help ex-military personnel and their families on their return to civilian life, said: “Our objective is to provide inspirational speakers during Covid-19 and hopefully inspire people, motivate and importantly tackle any mental health issues people maybe facing.
“All our speakers have been through mental health issues of their own and as we are all in ‘lockdown’ to hear their stories on the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them, we feel that this could provide some real positive words of encouragement to the public.”
There will be a Q&A session during each event where the speakers are happy to talk candidly about their experiences and answers any questions viewers may have.
“As a country, now more so than ever, we have to come together, stay strong, stay safe and support one another,” added Kayam.
Kayam, a former RAF Medic/Intelligence Specialist and British Muslim, was medically discharged for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following 11 years’ service, during which he completed tours of both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Like many others with mental health issues, I find each day a struggle, more so now during lockdown,” he continued.
“However, by bringing people together and hopefully offering an insight into some of these inspirational people, you can see ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ and know you are not alone.”
The OppO Foundation is providing this service at no cost. However, if any viewer wishes to make a donation the money raised will be split between the NHS and the OppO Foundation.
To make a donation visit: https://www.justgiving.com/oppo-foundation.