Painaustralia, the Medibank Foundation and The Banksia Project have today proudly launched a new video featuring Invictus Gold Medallist and pain champion, Peter Rudland, who has courageously shared his raw and honest experience of living with chronic pain and protecting his mental health.
Peter’s pain story started after a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of four of his fellow soldiers. Peter sustained many critical injuries, breaking most of the major bones in his body and suffered internal bleeding – including on his brain.
Painaustralia Patron and retired Australian Defence Force chief, Air Chief Marshal Sir Angus Houston AK, AFC (Ret’d), said Peter’s unbreakable spirit is to be commended. “Peter is a testament to the Australian spirit. His remarkable drive and perseverance to embrace his pain, find ways to not only live with it but to turn it into a positive, and influence the lives of others is a true feat.”
“We know that Veterans tend to present a stoic and strong external attitude and the chronic pain that so often underlines the physical and mental health challenges often go unacknowledged as a key cause of ongoing poor health,” Sir Angus said.
Painaustralia joined the country in applauding Peter for his determination and indomitable spirit in promoting the mental health of his fellow comrades and being an advocate for pain management.
The Banksia Project’s Program Director, Jack Jones, said “Peter has such an amazing story and his ability to deal with ongoing challenges and maintain positive mental health is an inspiring one. His story sheds light on real issues that Veteran’s and their communities face everyday. Peter is an inspirational voice for so many.”
Medibank General Manager of Wellbeing and Community, Karen Oldaker said pain and mental health often come hand in hand. “We need to work together as a community to raise awareness and support people to get the help they need, when they need it.
“Peter’s incredible journey just eight years on from the crash is now sending a powerful message to his fellow Veterans. You don’t need to be alone. Your struggle is real. Your pain is real. Your mental health is important. We, as a nation, are here for you,” Sir Angus said.
The 12-minute video detailing Peter’s life since the helicopter crash is available here.