Soldier who lost half his skull set to speak on mental health - Bournemouth Echo

A FORMER soldier who lost half his skull but miraculously recovered to carry the union flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Paralympics is to speak at The Tank Museum in Bovington.

Experts suggested that David O'Mahoney's life support should be turned off following a severe traumatic injury he suffered in 2011.

But he stunned the medical world by recovering and will deliver talks and run workshops at the museum on Friday and Saturday (October 11/12).

The two-day event is to mark World Mental Health Day and is open to the military and civilians.

Speaking about the adversity he faced, Lance Corporal O’Mahoney, who was a soldier in the Household Cavalry when he was struck by a vehicle, said: “What I want to do is share my hard won lessons and the tools I have used to find true meaning in life post-injury.

“After my injuries I suffered from mental health problems and had suicidal thoughts.

“Working with a psychologist was a turning point for me and my aim is to be that same turning point for others.

“I have recently joined forces with Emma Willis, founder of Style for Soldiers, and we have rolled out my wellbeing package to her database of injured servicemen and women.

“It is already having an incredible impact and our plan is to take it across the UK reaching those who can’t travel into London.”

For serving military personnel and veterans of the Royal Armoured Corps entry to the workshops is free.

It will be £5 for everyone else and the price includes lunch.

On the two days visitors to the museum will also find a range of exhibitors including Royal British Legion, SSAFA, Livability and Your First Domestic Violence Service.

As well as David there will be a number of other people speaking and running workshops on a variety of subjects.

Helen Smith, deputy director at The Tank Museum said: “Good mental health is high on the agenda for both the armed forces and society at large.

“To coincide with World Mental Health Day we have teamed up with the Dorset Armed Forces Covenant on a programme of workshops.

“We’re encouraging the general public and members of the military to come to the museum to hear from a variety speakers, including serving and injured soldiers, as well as specialists in nutrition and psychology.”