I can not thank Rob and his team enough

My names Craig, I served in the armed forces and deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. During active duty I faced many challenges one of them being hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) whilst on patrol. On returning to the home to the UK I was diagnosed with PTSD after my family had raised concerns and noticed a significant change in me and my mental health. following this diagnosis I was then shortly discharged in 2016 with no following support to see me through the transition into civilian life or help with my mental health. Since I was diagnosed I have battled my mental health for 10 years now but have tried to run away from my fears by surrounding my self in high intensity jobs. I’ve successfully completed 7 years front line for the Ambulance service and most recently completed 2 years with the fire service. But it hasn’t been an easy road with a lot of ups but manly downs. I have had numerous admissions to hospitals and mental health services along the way. But every time the system has let me down and had to “man up” and carry on gradually worsening year by year. Over the past few months I have been through a breakup with my ex partner and our 2 kids due to my mental health. This meant leaving the family home, this along with worsening symptoms of my PTSD that I’ve never dealt with or accepted at this point lead myself heading down hill rapidly with NO future, NO hope, and a dark place with NO way out. With NO way out this is when I sadly attempting to take my own life. Due to this I received 17 stitches and glue to my fore arm and was also admitted to hospital under a mental health section. I spent 9 weeks in hospital 4 weeks of those 9 weeks being on a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU) due to the severity of my mental health. Following my discharge from hospital I have now been diagnosed with complex PTSD, personality disorder, adjustment disorder and a the potential of ADHD that can not be diagnosed yet due to my current mental health and the severity of the conditions. I am currently going through the process of preparing and building foundations for intense psychotherapy with a long journey and road ahead to recovery. This has now lead me to a place where I am now in supported living in the community and has surfaced further problems. Since being alone in the community I have found that I’m unable to now complete simple every day tasks that I used to take for granted for example going shopping, due to my mind being hyper vigilant and my mental health drastically turning for the worse. My mental health is now impacting so severally on my life to the point where I now can not leave my own flat due pure fear and panic. I have been on various different medications to try help with this with no success and ultimately leading me to being trapped in my own home. This has put additional stress on my family and they now have to support me by doing the simple things in life that I can not face anymore, putting even more pressure on them and friends to just get by. Just when I thought things couldn’t get worse my mental health has taken hold of my life and has affected every one and thing around me, I’ve lost family, friends, relationships and even my jobs due to my mental health and don’t see away out yet again never mind a future and the feeling of being back to square one with no light at the end of the tunnel. This is where my beloved German Shepard and best friend max comes in. Max is now 4 years old, I brought with the intention of helping me get out the house and help with my mental health. However unfortunately max was sadly attacked at 6months old by another dog one dark evening on Halloween. This lead max to becoming highly reactive to over dogs and now sadly means I’m unable to walk him in public. I have tried several trainers over the years and got no help or was unable to find anyone who could train max, this very almost lead me to re-homing max and would mean saying bye to my beloved friend that felt I had failed. I reached out to the team at one to one dog traning school in desperation to try and help me keep my best friend and regain that bond I felt I lost with max as I felt guilty and like I let him down and knew he deserved better. Rob and the team was so supportive from the moment I spoke with them and offered support not just for max but for my own personal mental health issues and was more than happy to take my self and max on board. Rob and his team have gone above and beyond to train max to the highest of standards, not only in obedience, but as a support dog, and fully trained PTSD dog, that now recognises when a shift in my mood is happening or a panic attack is Imminent. Due to the dedication and passion Rob and his team have put in with max and my self he is now able to pick up on signs of stress, before I even recognise it myself, this has been absolutely life changing and Now this has allowed me to regain control of my life again. I can now do the simple tasks that seemed impossible and I dreaded not so long ago, but now with max and his new set of skills by my side every step of the way nothing seems impossible and I can see a bright future for me and max. I can not thank rob and his team they Have not just supported me through the training of max but have supported myself through my mental health journey that I am on. One to one dog training Have given me not only a best friend that’s always there in the time of need, but they have given me and max our life back and I now see a future for my self with my best friend max by my side every step of the way. Genuinely can not thank or recommend Rob and his team enough and will always be thankful for truly saving our life’s !
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