A West Lothian man is fronting a new campaign from a national mental health programme to help more veterans open up about their mental health.
Sean Brogan, from Livingston, is one of five armed forces veterans acting as the face of a new campaign from See Me, Scotland’s national programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
On average it can take over a decade for a veteran to ask for the support they need with their mental health, with some even considering or attempting suicide before speaking out.
Veterans all over Scotland have said that not wanting people to know what they are going through, and thinking that mental health problems are a sign of weakness, stop veterans from reaching out for help with their mental health.
Judging themselves if they are struggling and a feeling they should just ‘crack on’ can mean that veterans reach a crisis point before they tell someone how they feel.
See Me is encouraging veterans in West Lothian to get talking about mental health, and overcome the stigma which many face.
As part of the campaign, Sean was photographed by photographer Andy Low, and his portrait went on display as part of an installation in Edinburgh’s Waverley train station in early December.
Each of the portraits was accompanied by a QR code, which station users could scan on their phones to listen to each veterans’ experiences of mental health stigma, and getting help.
Sean served for 15 years in the Intelligence Corps before being medically discharged in 2021 due to mental health. He served as an operator of military intelligence, which included four tours of Afghanistan, as well as Iraq and Syria. He struggled with his mental health, which has had a huge impact, and has tried to take his own life.