Charity will provide help for servicemen
- Credit: Steve Adams
Former servicemen who return from life in the Armed Forces with trauma or mental difficulties can receive treatment free of charge thanks to the launch of a new charity in Norwich.
Stand Easy, which is based on Bethel Street, will use treatments such as acupuncture, meditation, psychotherapy, massage, and outdoor activities to help people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Naji Malak, who founded the charity with his wife, Amanda Ross, said the service would provide a direct and quick route for ex-servicemen needing treatment.
He said: 'Many people live in a state of shock and trauma, and even though they can function well they can't engage from their hearts and open up to other people.
'We need to take the trauma out of the person, and only then can you begin to see what they're really like.'
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The couple were inspired to set up the charity, which launched officially on Friday, after watching a documentary about servicemen trying to adapt back into normal society after experiencing the horrors of war.
Mr Malak said: 'There was a little clip where a soldier said he couldn't face things any more, and he killed himself.
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'We thought 'this is not good enough'.'
Mr Malak was born and grew up in Lebanon, but chose to move to England when he was 20.
Some of his friends fought in the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) and Mr Malak, who travelled back to the country regularly between 1985-1990, developed a variety of treatments with which he helped soldiers during the conflict.
He said his therapies were 'proven' and added servicemen who contacted the charity asking for help could potentially be seen that same day.
Anyone receiving help did not have to talk about their traumatic experiences, Mr Malak said.
Rickie Botwright, a former member of the Royal Marines and Norfolk police who was diagnosed with PTSD around five years ago, said: 'I left my first two sessions with the charity with a spring in my step.
'I don't know what Naji did, but for the first time in many years I began to feel better.
'I can't endorse the charity enough.'
Colin Delaney, of Norwich, who served in the Royal Air Force for 22 years, said: 'When I came out of the RAF I found there was no help at all and I didn't know what to do.
'Since having treatment with Stand Easy I have stopped having nightmares.'
The charity is looking for fundraisers and volunteers who can help with its day-to-day affairs.
For more information on Stand Easy call 01603 666546 or visit www.standeasy.org.uk