A former Thomas Cook cluster manager has set up a charity to help people with PTSD in the workplace.
An assault in November 2017 left Nathan Bowen, currently a sales manager at Leisuretime, suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Mental health charity Mind defines it as a condition people develop after being involved in or witnessing traumatic events.
“Afterwards I thought I was getting back to normal,” said south Wales-based Bowen.
“But over the course of the next 11 months, I had a really difficult time. My personal life suffered.”
He added: “I have worked really hard to get where I am today.”
On hyper alert at all times, Bowen developed a face rash from the constant flow of cortisol around his body and is still having therapy to help a neck injury he developed from the extreme muscle tension.
He was diagnosed with the anxiety disorder in 2018 but is now in recovery.
The experience has inspired Bowen to set up a charity called PTSD At Work.
“After I finished my counselling this year, I had an urge to share my story. I don’t want someone else to go through it alone,” said Bowen.
Although he had access to support, Bowen tried to deal with his diagnosis alone.
“I didn’t tap into [the support]. A lot of people with PTSD feel ashamed, with a lot of guilt.
“Your mind says ’no one will understand what you are going through’, and there’s still a stigma around PTSD.”
The charity, which launched on 1 December, will fund training courses to educate small and medium-sized businesses on the impact of PTSD in the workplace, how to spot the signs in employees and then respond accordingly.
If PTSD At Work was not on hand to help, Bowen said each course of training could cost between £300 to £400 per person, and would be unlikely to be taken up by many business owners.
Bowen worked as a Thomas Cook cluster manager for about seven years before he moved to Leisuretime more than four years ago.
Visit ptsdatwork.org.uk to find out more about the charity.
If you or anyone you know requires counselling support, contact www.nationalcounsellingsociety.org.