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 - Shaun Franklin

Small Steps Big Differences

WWTW Beneficiary, Shaun, initially struggled adapting to civvy life. After receiving help from WWTW's mental health programme, he is now a successful business owner as well as a Life Coach.

Shaun was 19 when he joined the Grenadier Guards in 2008. He was twice deployed to Afghanistan and during both tours, he experienced significant traumatic events.

The physical demands of military life also took their toll – he had a knee replacement and started to suffer pain in his ankle which over time became chronic. Shaun was placed in a rehabilitation platoon and was permanently separated from his unit and his usual duties. As a dedicated soldier with an exemplary record, he found this situation hard to endure and became disillusioned – eventually, he handed in his resignation papers.

Shaun returned to civilian life and started to work very long hours. He began to suffer continuous disturbed sleep which was soul-destroying and drained every little bit of energy he and his family had. He would wake up 10 to 15 times a night having nightmares, hearing children screaming, and he would stand disorientated in the room. Shaun found if incredibly difficult to deal with his daughter’s crying when she was a baby - it brought on panic attacks and he was unable to sleep until he knew she was safe and asleep.

One incident, in particular, revealed his mental state - Shaun took his young daughter to the local park and experienced extreme and irrational anxiety for the welfare of his child. He was convinced that she was going to die and he froze. After that he couldn’t go to the park again, in fact, Shaun found it impossible to leave the house.

Tracy, Shaun’s fiancée, took matters into her own hands and contacted a military charity without his knowledge. Along with close family and friends, they had noticed dramatic changes in his behaviour and personality and Tracy saw that Shaun was really struggling in his home and work life.

Shaun was referred to Walking With The Wounded’s mental health programme and began seeing his therapist, Anna, in January 2018, and over the next 9 months, he became a very different man. 

Shaun has run his own business since 2016 and is the Director of Chamber Health and Wellbeing. Half the week he runs a gym and the other half he spends life coaching clients. He has learned a lot from his own negative emotions from the past and has channelled these to develop his skills as a Life Coach. He now advises those who may also need help.

As a direct result of therapy, Shaun now feels like a normal Dad. He can play with his children and this year he took his daughter back to the park for the first time.

Find out how you can support veterans like Shaun