A CAMPAIGN spearheaded by two former York residents is gathering pace in the fight to support people affected by post traumatic stress disorder.

Former York soldier Simon Buckden and Louisa Rodriguez, who studied at York St John University in 2008 and 2009, founded Positive Action for PTSD last July.

In only six months, they have attracted an online community of 21,000 on its Facebook page and are making waves in the world of mental health.

People affected by PTSD are now welcoming the official launch of the UK’s first organisation for all forms of the condition.

Simon, who previously served with 2 Signal Regiment at Imphal Barracks, and Louisa campaign and lobby Government and other key organisations to promote positive change and awareness for PTSD.

The duo, who met in 2012, have already spoken to various key organisations such as Time To Change, Mind, Re-Think and The Department of Health.

Simon, who was diagnosed with PTSD after witnessing atrocities in Bosnia while serving in the armed forces, undertook 51 marathons in 70 weeks to raise awareness of the condition.

Louisa worked in the voluntary sector for six years with vulnerable people who had been through different types of trauma. She speaks for the partners and families of those with PTSD.

Together they want to create greater awareness of all aspects of the condition, and provide a safe and supportive community for anyone affected by it, including carers and loved ones.

Simon, who has also been diagnosed with cancer, said: “It is more than just a Facebook page, it is an online community where people affected by PTSD support each other. I think the rapid growth and huge response we have had highlights how much an organisation like this is needed.”

Louisa said: “The stories we hear from people living with PTSD are heart-breaking and inspiring. It just motivates us more to keep growing the organisation and raising awareness of PTSD.

“We speak to people who have PTSD from surviving child abuse, domestic violence, sexual violence, road traffic accidents, traumatic child birth and also first responders.”

The website provides information to support sufferers, their families and friends. They can also speak about their experiences on the support forum as well as receive advice from professionals working in the field of PTSD.

Positive Action For PTSD is a social enterprise, a not-for-profit business. For details visit positiveactionforptsd.org