AUSTRALIAN NOT FOR PROFIT ORGANISATION
Not For Profit
We are a Not For Profit Organisation set up by veterans to help other veterans with PTSD “Post-traumatic stress disorder” and other associated medical issues after discharge from the ADF “Australian Defence Force”.
WHY THE FORGE?
Blacksmithing like Defence teaches them various new skills. Unlike many one off activities offered to veterans we are introducing them to blacksmithing on a weekly basis. With the option of ongoing membership in the veteran community we created.
The skills required for the programs include concentration, precision and the ability to learn by trial and error. Blacksmithing gave Veterans a sense of purpose and engagement after participating in our 12 week program.
SIMILARITIES CREATE COMFORT
We replicate important aspects of military culture…
Chain of Command
Working as a Team
Shared Core Values
Respect for Rank
Similar Past Experiences
New Identity (Blacksmith)
DOING IT DIFFERENT FOR A REASON
Different from the other Not For Profits working with Veterans in Australia, in that:
Right from the start
For the first few weeks only Veterans will be at The Forge.
Only after they get comfortable do I invite senior members from the Blacksmiths Association of WA to teach decorative tasks starting the process of re-integration.
We supply everything needed from the PPE Equipment, various materials needed and even a BBQ lunch every few weeks.
Focus on Enjoyment
Missing a day will not interrupt progress as our focus is for each individual to have fun and enjoy the experience at their own pace.
THE FUTURE: UNDERSTANDING WHY
Why is Blacksmithing so effective in helping Veterans make their transition?
We know what we do works, now we want to understand how it works, so this information can be used by other Ex-Service Organisations.
Veterans also have greater medical issues due to time spent in service. To achieve this we are work closely with a Clinical Psychologist specialising in ADF Veterans and PTSD, we are advised by a Psychiatrist also specialising in Veterans.
It is well known that Veterans have higher suicide rates than civilians.
The psychologist we work with stated she could see the progress that the veterans had made in a short period of time. Some of the veterans had been in therapy for over a year, while they had made progress on reducing their PTSD and depression they were still socially isolated and were feeling directionless.