Drop-in Centre details:
Rock 2 Recovery HQ 
Office Hours 2016
Exmouth Business Centre,
14, Hartley Road,
Devon, EX8 2SG
Monday - Friday
01395 220072 Other times including evenings by appointment 


Why I'm Mad
How To Support

Dear Ex-Marine

I don’t know you but I loved one of you.

I want to ask you-no, beg you, that no matter how bad things may seem, it is not worth taking your life for. There are amazing people out there who have made it their life mission to help you find your way again and they want to help you.

No, I do not know or understand what you are going through. But if I could I would show you my heart to stop you from making such a final decision. But I can’t- mine has been shattered into a million pieces and I don’t know if I’ll ever put the pieces together again. Guilt and intense sorrow flow through my veins now. The “what ifs” and “if only’s” consume my thoughts.

I would do anything to have my proud ex-Marine back but I can’t. He would always joke that there was no situation too big to handle because he was an ex-Royal Marine. Now I want to ask him why did he not ‘marine’ up and admit he needed help. Just say the words ‘I NEED HELP’?

Am I mad? Of course I am. I’m mad at him for the choice he made. I’m mad at him for hurting me like this even though I know it was not his intention. But I’m most mad at the system that does not protect and support those who fought for them.

I would have done anything to help but I was sitting on the other side of the world. His family and friends would have done anything; and I mean ANYTHING to help him. But now we are forever bound by this tragic loss.

This is the reality that you’ll leave behind, a trail of broken lives. And it is not fair, sorry, but it’s not. I would have loved an injured man and supported him for the rest of my life rather than have only the memories to keep with me for the next 40 something years.

If you feel no-one loves you, please know that I do, without ever having met you; I know you are a hero and you deserve a chance at a good life.

Again, I beg of you, do not end it, you are precious to someone and that someone is going to be devastated by your decision.

I pray that you find peace.

I pray that you chose life.

From the loved one of an ex-marine who took his life suffering from PTSI

“Amazing things will happen in the company of amazing people”


 Thank you for supporting Rock 2 Recovery, your support will help us prevent suicides within our military community.  Your Art, Discipline, Genre all equal CREATIVITY. This is what we aim to stimulate in the recovery of brain injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Injury, Depression and Anxiety.  We work along side leading edge science that can prove this part of the brain must be stimulated. So thank you.

 Please register below and receive our R2R logo files to assist us spread the word and guide those in need to our guidance pages.




 Thank you

Rock 2 Recovery Team

The most frightening part of dealing with post-traumatic stress injury is coming to realise it is there in the first place. Knowing for sure I have always been a strong character and at times un sympathetic with sufferers through no understanding of stress.

It’s got to be normal to look for strong points in your house to take cover behind should the inevitable happen, or move your children from playing in front of weak points. It’s best to be safe and evaluate every vehicle on u.k. roads for signs of a vehicle IED when going to do the big shop and I’m sure it can’t do any harm to sit on the edge of the bed at 3 in the morning just to take in the atmospherics of what’s going on outside.

The hardest 5 minutes of my life sat waiting to see a military doctor to explain to him all of the above was normal, or was it? The military has come a long way in treating PTSD but I became more and more anxious as to why I had become like this and as to why I didn’t respond to any treatment. Would this get worse? This added worry brought on panic attacks and at times thought it could be a brain tumour or something equally serious.

No one except my wife knew I was seeking help and I would carry on being larger than life and my usual fun poking self at work which was an added strain. I decided to phone a real expert and phoned close friend at Rock 2 Recovery who had been through worse. He talked me through his experiences and convinced me I can get through this so he put me on to SOS (save our soldier) and asked me to give it a try. Having heard it from another and it sounding like all the same things I was experiencing I know I had to do something to make the change happen. Its true what they say, Stop, Talk, Act then Re focus your life.

The military treatment was good and I totally got it. I could see and understand the methods used but for some reason it wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped so began to see SOS concurrently.

My first meeting with SOS was in Bath and after arriving an hour early to conduct recce’s, look for escape routes and vulnerable points and so on, I settled outside a café to wait for my meet with a clear view of the street, be able to plan the building in my head from the outside and no the route to my car and use the most dead ground to get to it.

It may just be me but the methods used by SOS seemed to fit my character perfectly. I was told in mechanical terms what they thought had happened and gave me an explanation as to possibilities to why I had become to behave like I was. The most important thing to me was that I was told it could be fixed. It was like taking a faulty car to the garage and the mechanic explaining, confidently, the problem can be fixed.

Without going in to depth, I spend some time with the staff of SOS, even after my treatment with the military had ended. I felt noticeably better even after my first visit and I wouldn’t say I just went totally up and up, but it worked for me and there came a time where we all felt I was equipped to go it alone and discontinue my visits. Since then I felt the need to see SOS on 1 more occasion where my wife was also there which helped and I’m lucky she’s stuck around.

I have tiny glitches once in a while but nothing I can’t be realistic about and can put myself back into a straight sense of thinking, safe in the knowledge that SOS know who I am and I can call them again if I need to, and I would. I would never knock the military treatment and am sure works for many, but just didn’t for me and if still serving should be the first port of call.

Just believe that talking to some who has hand glided over hell can be so reassuring and they have found a route out and are stood on the edge to point out the exit to you. I thank the guys at Rock 2 Recovery for sharing their story with me and making me realise that I can turn things around for me and for my family. I still keep in touch now and look forward to watching them grow.


Rock 2 recovery is committed to signposting individuals if they require immediate intervention through our own resources and other dedicated organisations.

Call 01395 220072, FB Message, Tweet, or email.

Accessing support is not a sign of weakness and we encourage anyone who requires immediate support to do so.


Scars of War Foundation


"The Scars of War Foundation" was formed specifically to research the psychological problems caused by war, focusing on combat soldiers - the people who have to sort out the mess. These problems affect from a quarter to over half of all soldiers who've been in combat. But the causes are not clear.


A combination of physical injury to the head, and the effects of extreme prolonged stress and fear, seems most likely. Many incur brain damage that isn't diagnosed - known as "mild traumatic brain injury mTBI". If left untreated this develops into psychological problems like PTSD. The effects of the extremes of prolonged stress and fear that are part of every operational tour, can also physically damage the brain, leading to lasting damage to its functioning. The symptoms of mTBI and PTSD are non-specific and similar, so it's vital to separate out which is which, and understand the development over time of these conditions.


"The Scars of War Foundation uses neuroscience to understand the brain processes involved, but also brings together all the other scientific disciplines required to develop new diagnostic methods, treatments and preventive measures. It is particularly important that social as well as medical measures are developed to address these problems. The scale of incidence of these problems and their prevention are the responsibility of military commanders especially at Unit level. Affected soldiers need the support of this vital social group. The educated support of their families is also vital. Bringing the latest psychological understanding to help with this is a major Scars of War Foundation research objective. The Foundation works closely with our colleagues in the USA - at UCLA in Los Angeles, and with Volunteers of America, to ensure that soldiers on both sides of the Atlantic benefit from the latest medical and social research. The Scars of War Foundation receives no university or government funding."



Creativity has many mental health benefits. We encourage all forms of creativity and believe it can help in the road to recovery. Whether it be music, poetry, photography, art or any other form of creativity. It is entirely up to you.

Sign Posting

There are many agencies prepared to help sufferers and families recover from mental health problems. Contacting someone for help is the first step in recovery. We encourage this first step on the journey to recovery.

Road To Recovery

Firstly, you are not alone. Many other people suffer from stress related illness in the armed forces. If you are suffering from stress related illness because of service then you have given everything. You have fulfilled what was taught to you in training.


Are you caught “Between a rock and a hard place” do you feel like there is no hope, no one who understands and no way forward? Help is at hand my friend, let me explain.


It’s all about changing the above statement to “Between YOUR rock and a hard place” The word ROCK becoming something positive, something that will get you out of bed in the morning. Maybe your ROCK will be a creative project or a hobby maybe even a challenge? Anything that will draw your attention away from the lonely dark cloud and deafening silence of PTSI and mental health illnesses. Now, we can’t confess to being miracle workers but we can assure you that doing something recreationally, will encourage relaxation and promote many other health benefits. It will also bring with it positive changes, positive energy, positive moods, and probably the most important one of all, positive friendships with other sufferers and YOURSELF! You may feel undeserving of any new found freedom at this present moment, but rest assured by being with someone else who has similar experiences and similar injuries brings great relief. You will quickly realise YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

How do we help?

Following our STAR approach when you are ready let us know what you think your ‘ROCK’ may be. Is it music, poetry or some other form of artistry, it may even be something sporty or a challenge with an end goal? Whatever it is, we are here to help you achieve your starting point and continue with you on your journey out of the darkness.


We are fortunate enough at R2R to have a talented and gifted musician Dan Johnson. Dan has been delivering guitar lessons to recovering injured personnel at Hasler Coy in Plymouth for some time now and has created some online guitar tutorials that can be accessed after you register with R2R. We are continually working with other R2R musicians, setting up gigs and events so that our supporting bands can perform their music in public and help raise funds and awareness of the work that we do.


Some of our R2R projects currently being worked on:

  • Last year a former RM took on an amazing challenge by yomping a 166.4km non stop on South Downs Way - an mentally epic challenge being repeated this year.
  • Other former RM’s with their families and friends went yomping over Dartmoor!
  • Plans for a future Recordings of a R2R album / Artists Songs
  • A potential stage appearance at Glastonbury by some R2R musicians / Bands
  • An Atlantic Crossing adventure made up of Five crew including, four former Royal Marines Commando's and a veteran of the Royal Air Force (we choose not to be too picky!).
  • A founder member of R2R has recently been up in the Cairngorms challenging the skill of horse-riding with Horseback UK, another charity set up with rehabilitation in mind and we are looking closely at how we can collaborate in the future.

“Amazing things happen in the company of amazing people”

You Are Amazing!

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The road to recovery from any injury is often lengthy and uneasy. The simple fact you have to recover means that you have been tested in some way. There are three ways ways this occurs either physically, mentally or both. However you got here today it does not matter really. It has happened it is in the past and we certainly can’t go backwards and alter anything. You, like me are most likely feeling that you are now on a journey. Often this journey will take you up and down and sometimes it’s a bumpy road. However, the overriding fact is that we now need to maximise on the ups, minimise on the downs, accept what is done is done be flexible in your thinking and move on up!!


Whatever experiences you have accrued during your life so far, one thing is for certain. They have made you what you are today. So have a think about what you are today, whom you are and what you have had to go through to get here. If I could meet you and hold your hand I would say to you. “Well done, congratulations; you made it” there has been a time earlier in your life when you decided you were going to try something, you were going to attempt something testing and in many cases you will have decided to yourself I am going to give it my all. So like I say “Well done” you made it. You gave it your all.


Think back to when you made that decision, whenever it was weather it was a conscious decision or otherwise you will not have expected it to feel like this I imagine.


So it is time to make some more decisions. That’s easy. Human nature will assist you here. We are survivors; nature insists we do everything we can to survive. So don’t panic. You already have the most powerful force in the universe on your side. Nature. No matter how you are feeling.


I want to make this easy to understand so I am only going to pass on two things, two words and these two words will set the foundation for everything we go through from this point onwards.





I want you to close your eyes, relax over 5 deep breaths and clear your mind…… Clear?


OK. I want you to picture yourself, the most successful and developed version of yourself that you could possibly imagine. If that means you doing the most basic of tasks then so be it, but it is you. What ever you consider the best is. Doing the things you always wanted to do and most importantly you are happy, very happy.

This is your VISION. With time you will learn to apply this to many other things along the way, each becoming a small positive vision on the journey to the bigger VISION.


Now anyone can do this, its easy. However; for you these visions are much more poignant than the visions of the person next to you. You are going through a Recovery process. So visions are very vivid and are helping your recovery. So enjoy them, use your imagination and do not be scared to have any vision of the future that you wish.


BELIEF is what makes your VISION become reality. The ability to KNOW that you will succeed and you will overcome all hurdles on route to your vision no matter how small or large they appear. Remember one person’s small hurdle is another person’s big hurdle. We are all different. That’s a good job, I wouldn’t want another me hanging about too close… [nor would we.... Ed!]


What ever the vision that you have created, it may be you leaving the house for the first time in a long while, joining a new gym, meeting new people, starting a new job or career. It is vital that we now believe that we will get there. No matter what weather the day brings. There is a place in the back of your mind that always remembers that you have a vision and that you are on a journey towards it. You will learn to believe this like it has already happened. You will develop a belief so strong that you will soon feel the joy of it, as though it has already happened.


Combining your VISION of your future with the BELIEF  that you have already achieved this will enormously assist you on your road to recovery.


There is so much I could write here but I know you are busy creating visions so I want you to move on. However follow my Feeds and continue to absorb the knowledge that I have learnt on my own journey.


And on those down days! Well we just adjust our VISION. Though we always keep on BELIEVING.

Be kind to yourself just because it is a dull day does not mean we are dull.

You are amazing and “Amazing things will happen in the company if amazing people”  

Jamie Sanderson Former Royal Marine and Founder R2R



We have a number of bands in support of Rock 2 Recovery. "Frank and the 'Double UUs' " performed at the Hasler Company Reunion 2014 held at the Union Jack Club, London. Fronted by Lee Spencer RM who constantly raises the bar in his recovery from injury.



As part of our sign posting we would like to draw your attention to expeditions and other adventurous activities that you can engage in. Some of the guys climbed Kilimanjaro recently as part of The Baton Project. Why not get involved.

Linkin Park

Rock 2 Recovery is very thankful to have "Linkin Park" on board. Not only did they provide this message of support. They went a step further. They provided R2R with tickets for their O2 Arena gigs in November 2014. R2R have arranged a trip for members of Hasler company and Headley Court (DMRC), to attend these two gigs courtesy of Linkin Park.


"Big Fat Astronauts" performed at the Hasler Reunion. The guys are young but their music is outstanding. These guys rocked! They are a three piece band and they are fantastic song writers and performers. An up and coming band inspiring creativity in the south west. R2R would like to thank the Big fat astronauts for their continued support in delivering our message.



Chris Mackie is a veteran of the parachute regiment. Here he has created some incredible art work. Chris incorporated these words which R2R engage in regularly. A truly great piece of creativity.
Vision: Our vision is that everybody becomes aware of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress in others and themselves and the signs of when it is time to gain help. To ensure that direction, signposting and connections are easily available for the sufferers in times of trouble. It is also to then ensure that a re-focusing opportunity occurs and self worth and aspirations return. We do this by encouraging (STAR) STOP, TALK, ACT, RE-FOCUS

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