Middle East

Invictus Games champions David Wiseman and Nathan Jones talk about mental health

Nathan, in 2014, the scheduled flight you were flying caused a horrifying incident. What happened on that day?
Jones: I was flying a Voyager Airbus A330 from the Royal Air Force’s Brize Norton station to Helmand, Afghanistan. When we decided to leave the cockpit and take a break, we were flying at 33,000 feet in cruise mode. When I was drinking tea, the next thing I noticed was that it was fixed to the roof. We noticed a plunge into the sea.I had to crawl on the roof, get down to my seat and then activate the button that prioritizes my control [to take over the aircraft].. What happened was that the captain (I was the co-pilot at the time) was taking pictures of the stars with a single-lens reflex camera and his camera was jammed with control. So he moved the seat forward, which knocked out the autopilot and pushed the stick all the way forward. He was there thinking the autopilot was stuck, but instead the camera was blocking control.

I was seriously injured when I hit the roof. I broke the back of his head, opened it, and broke his back. Since 2014, I have been working full time at the Defense Medical Rehabilitation Center and have recovered from physical and mental injuries.

Nathan Jones and Prince Harry at Invictus Games 2016 in Orlando
Nathan Jones and Prince Harry at Invictus Games 2016 in Orlando

David, you still have a bullet in your chest from the incident in Afghanistan. Please tell me about it.
Sage: I was a British Army officer in the infantry unit. It was my second tour in Afghanistan. I used to serve in Baghdad. I was incorporated into the Afghan Army and was accompanied by a small specialized team of nine British soldiers.

I was in Helmand in 2009 and it was a terrible year for us. Over a two-week period, we dealt with 25 different casualties at the end of October and November. On November 15, 2009, I became the 26th victim.

We fought the Taliban from one area and had to push them back a little more that day. When I reached my next tactical limit, I was engaged in a position where I didn’t have a cover. In essence, enemy snipers eventually caught us. One round passed my head and it sounded like someone broke a whip, and soon I heard the sound of a weapon firing. That passed my head. I didn’t react fast enough because the second one hit my chest. The bullet hit just below the clavicle and moved down the length of the torso, damaging the axillary artery along the way, crushing the brachial plexus, and shredding the lungs. It shattered my ribs and it stopped in my right lung, which still remains today.

My chest is full of blood [my team] I lived long enough until the American Chopper landed to take me away. In fact, I waited on the ground and held my breath three times. I moved behind the chopper. I stopped breathing again as they tied me up.At that time [the paramedic] Take out the blade and cut into the chest without anesthetic, [inserted a tube].. The blood oozes onto the floor of the helicopter and is finally able to breathe back.

I spent a week in the intensive care unit in Birmingham. I left the Army in 2013 after several years in and out of the wonderful Defensive Medicine Rehabilitation Center on Headley Court.

You both participate in many Invictus Games. What are some of the most heroic stories you have come across?
Jones: What really stands out is our very good friend, Dr. David Henson. He lost his legs in an IED. He came back from there to discover the sport and with the help of his prosthesis became a great sprinter. He then captained the British Invictus team in 2014 and won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics. Later, he earned a PhD in biomechanics, hoping to develop a new next-generation prosthesis. He and I co-founded the CASEVAC Club, a private membership club for injured soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Together, we are influencing and advancing our understanding of trauma.

The two also co-founded Peak State. How did it happen, and what are some of its goals?
Sage: After leaving the army, I went to work for Prince Harry and Prince William of the Royal Foundation. I advised them on their involvement in philanthropy in helping those who serve. There have been various programs over the years, and mental health has been incorporated into many of those programs. But the message about mental health has always been from a negative angle. It’s always talking about depression, anxiety, or trauma – and it’s not really all. There are other spectra of that that promote good mental health management. And peak conditions are essentially focused on that idea.

Peak State is a collection of tools and techniques we have taken from around the world in sport psychology to influence and assist people in adopting a proactive approach to better management of mental health.

David Wiseman
David Wiseman

Jones: I went to college to do sports science, and sport psychology was a big part of it. When you say that your mind is the most important muscle in your body, it has less to do with what we are doing at peak. The problem with all these learnings is that the small benefits of sport psychology are given only to professional and elite athletes. It’s not really spoken among the general public and, arguably, those who need it most.

What we are trying to do is condemn the mental health conversation. We offer people the option to do so through a library of tools and techniques, and we understand that it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Knowing that elite sportsmen, bio-hackers, or even if you’ve never been focused, everyone stays in this mental health spectrum, we’ve packaged something. Activates their parasympathetic nervous system, sleep nutrition and nutrition. We help them develop the knowledge to use these daily to become higher performing individuals.

By doing so, they wear a variety of armor. Therefore, if something happens and you feel stressed or anxious, you have these tools as a coping mechanism. Why send a soldier into battle without armor just because he knows someone has a bandage on the other end to heal the wound?

You were recently at Expo 2020. What have you talked about mental health in the United Arab Emirates?
Jones: He gave a great talk at the Dubai Exhibition Center in Rewir Ed.I think people [here] Open to this idea of ​​mental health.

I think it’s exciting to offer at Peak State, not just for elite athletes. It’s not just executive coaching. For everyone. We have programs running in Australia, the United States and are about to start in Greece. I want to do something in this area.

Jones: The reason we are here is because we created this bespoke content for different communities. For example, it doesn’t make sense for anyone here in the UAE to watch a video created for the Australian community. Therefore, create content tailored to your community, region, or nationality.

One of the areas we are currently working on is youth empowerment. We spoke with COP26 in a series of conferences on this subject.

Nathan Jones
Nathan Jones

What can you expect from you in 2022?
Sage: If we can incorporate our tools and techniques into schools in the area, extraordinary young people will grow up. There is a climate of this anxiety. Youth are our future leaders, so we need to do this now. Otherwise, you will only have to bandage in the future. In 2022, what we want to do in the region is to insert Peak State Tools into the UK’s personal, social, health and economic school curriculum. This is supported by the app released this year.

If you have a brand like Bremont’s Assistance Initiative like Peak State, how does it help promote your goals?
Sage: As you know, people may think that Bremont makes luxury watches. [Peak State]?? Well, it’s about values ​​and the crossover of those values. It turns out that their adventurous, positive and progressive spirit is exactly what they need, and that’s the kind of crossover we see in the peak state. Bremont’s tagline is “tested beyond durability.”And if you have these peaks
A state tool, you can actually test beyond endurance.

Jones: Bremont is our official timing partner. We partner with a variety of health technology companies and companies, including Iris, which manufactures audio software for Red Bull Racing headsets. Max Verstappen’s helmets and Christian Horner headsets have the same audio software that goes into peak conditions. Iris creates a three-dimensional soundscape for us. We partnered with world-leading companies to close the gap and justify what we are doing. It provides the general public with access to the slightest interests of elite athletes.

https://gulfbusiness.com/invictus-games-champions-david-wiseman-and-nathan-jones-talk-mental-health/ Invictus Games champions David Wiseman and Nathan Jones talk about mental health

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