Former special forces soldier and now turned TV star has revealed how he gave up alcohol after a ten-year battle with his demons.
Matthew “Ollie” Ollerton, who is one of the Directing Staff on Channel 4 ’s SAS: Who Dares Wins, struggled in civilian life after he left the forces.
He wants more support for veterans suffering post-traumatic stress when they return to civilian life.
And works with the organisation ‘Save Our Soldier’ that provides coaching and help for combatants to reverse the downward spiral of suffering and begin a journey back towards the very best they can be.
Ollie said: “I went down a path of destruction. It wasn’t until a few years ago I managed to sort myself out.
“I removed alcohol from my menu. I don’t drink any more. That was fuelling the issues that I had.”
One serviceman commits suicide almost every two weeks, and the former special forces soldier said the MoD must do more, adding: “It should start with screening people going into the military. There should be more psychological assessment.”
This comes just days after MILITARYNEWS.CO.UK reported of the unfortunate case of WO2 Nathan Hunt from the Royal Engineers who was found dead at his home in Lincoln last week after telling colleagues he was struggling with depression.
Ollie joined the Royal Marines at just 18 and after five years as a ‘bootneck’ passed the gruelling 6 month selection process for the SAS. On completion of which – Ollie then joined the Special Boat Service, (SBS) to undergo further training to qualify as a Special Forces Combat Frogman.
During his six years in the SBS he undertook a number of high profile missions in a variety of locations both on land and sea. Ollie’s missions included, counter narcotics, counter terrorism, homeland security, counter insurgency operations and humanitarian efforts. Ollie also qualified as a pilot of the Submersible Dive Vessel (SDV), a mini sub used to insert Special Forces Combat Soldiers behind enemy lines.
He said of his own struggles: “I turned to alcohol because of the noise that was going on in my head.
“There was a constant drone, a constant negativity. I needed to switch it off. I used the alcohol to numb all that out.”
Ollie is now CEO of BREAK-POINT, an organisation for both public and corporate that focuses on changing peoples limiting beliefs and performance.
If you would like to see how ‘Save our Soldier’ could help you, please visit their website by clicking here or call them on 01225 430360.