Military veterans learn the art of falconry in a bid to tackle post-traumatic stress disorder

Military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder have taken part in a day of activiti

Military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder have taken part in a day of activities at Lavenham Falconry. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Military veterans have spent a day trying their hand at outdoor activities such as falconry, hunting with birds of prey and archery.

But the event, organised by researchers from the University of Essex in conjunction with Lavenham Falconry, also had a more serious side.

It is part of a study to assess activities that might help alleviate symptoms faced by military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ten veterans took part in the day at Bridge Farm Barns in Monks Eleigh near Lavenham.

The participants completed psychometric tests and interviews in the lead up to the day and will be retested afterwards to see how they have responded.

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PhD researcher Mark Wheeler and Dr Nick Cooper from the department of psychology at the university are leading the project which is assessing the impact of various different activities.

The findings will build on work carried out last August in partnership with the Veterans and Families Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, which saw a group of ex military personnel take part in a weekend of coarse fishing.

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Last month the research team monitored another group who participated in an equine day at Colchester Garrison Saddle Club.

The research team is working closely with Veterans First, the North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network established by North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

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