Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Battlefield of the Mind

On any given night in America 125,000 veterans are homeless and sleeping on the streets. Lack of family, social and medical support has driven them there, people often unwilling to understand what is going on within them. In London, England, the number of homeless veterans sleeping on the street is estimated to be about 1100. These are the forgotten, the ones pushed away because their usefulness has, in the eyes of the people around them, come to an end.

Battlefield Of The Mind is a new documentary which delves in to the life of veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a mental health problem which is linked to their experiences in the theatre of war. With many now doing several deployments, they find themselves unable to switch off and return to civilian life. They find that what they have experienced in battle, the deaths of friends and innocents, and the injustices of war, life changing. Battle scarred, they return home to find that the support they so desperately need is lacking, not just from family and friends, but also from health services and the government and military they entrusted their lives to. On the side of friends and family, it is often not a lack of compassion but a lack of understanding. Tragically, mental health issues are still the invisible illnesses which many believe should be brushed beneath the carpet and forgotten about.

The film makes for some unsettling and worrying viewing, showing mental health issues in a way which they have never been shown. Everything has been captured for the world to see; the pain, the agony, the frustration. It's a film I challenge anyone to watch. If you come away feeling angry, hurt, upset, and with a fire in your belly to right the wrongs of this world, then you're on the right track. Cliches are irrelevant when it comes to this film, but it truly does take you on a roller-coaster of emotions.

Thankfully, Battlefield does show us what is being done. Charities such as Veterans First and the Pathway Home are stepping in to fill the void, offering support and help to those who want it. Through their programs, the veterans go on to find homes, employment which matches the skills they used in the military, and a life outside of PTSD. We get to hear of several success stories, including that of Pirate Mike who, while filming was taking place, went and became a part of the Veterans First family.

PTSD in veterans is a global problem and Strine gives us a glimpse at the tip of the iceberg. This is a film which needs to be seen by everyone from politicians, to the military, to the media, to charities, to health care workers. It's a film which I believe will not only open eyes, but will become a tool in helping to combat the agony of PTSD.

The consideration which the crew show to the veterans they feature is second to none. This is not an exposé. This is a piece of work which refuses to rely on fear mongering and gossip. Instead, it takes our hand and leads us in to a world which needs to be seen.

Fran Strine's Battlefield Of The Mind is a powerful and compassionate look at a side of war many people refuse to think about.

Battlefield of the Mind is now available to download and stream at
The DVD and soundtrack, featuring many of today's best rock and metal artists, are scheduled for release on April 24th.

For help, support, information, or to get involved, please visit Combat Stress (UK) or Veterans First (Orange County, USA)


  1. I know a veteran with PTSD. It pretty much caused him to lose his family, among other things. It's good to see people spreading awareness. So many people with mental illnesses are misunderstood and misjudged.


    1. Hehe thank you! This past week's been manic and doesn't look like it's slowing down!

      PTSD in veterans is incredibly hard and I'm so glad this film is out there. It's amazing and I'm really hoping that everyone who needs to see it does. Mental health problems in general are so often ignored because they can't be seen. Can't wait for the day society finally accepts people, no matter what. xxx

  2. For those wanting to see it, this film has been released on Chill and is now available for streaming and download:

    1. Thanks, Chris! Passing that on now via Facebook, Twitter and email.