The former US soldier will be talking live at an event this week, and the talk show is to help address high levels of mental health “burnouts” in the Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry. Steve Beedie, the Former US soldier, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after serving in Kosovo in the early 90s, has been working offshore for the past 11 years. During that period, he has been able to build up the “Unspoken Wounds” site, an online platform which allows people to discuss their struggles with any mental health issues.
Steve, presently working as a derrickman offshore, has had a particular focus on helping former armed forces personnel like himself and fellow oil and gas workers. The 38-year-old from Banff served in the army for nine years in war-torn zone areas like Iraq, and he developed PTSD after witnessing a child being blown up by a landmine while serving at Kosovo. On Sunday, July 7, he will be putting on the first public Unspoken Wounds event, where he will be talking about his struggles in the army and then offshore. In Spite of the improved social awareness of mental health issues, and the work going on within the industry to address some of this problem, Mr. Beedie said a large proportion of the oil and gas sector remains affected. He said: “Burnouts are on the rise, I’ve heard from sources within an extensive operating department that this is burnout city. I’ve spoken to people who are on the brink of quitting and would instead go on drowning themselves in little money they make than tackle the issues they will have to face on the rig. “These are just personal thoughts and opinions, but we do work in a very tense industry that wants more done with fewer resources. “There is enormous pressure on all sides, whether you’re an OIM (offshore installation manager), an executive in the office or a recruit in the offshore industry. “If that is not dealt with in a well strategized and empathetic way, these issues are going to get out of hand, which will result in loss of control, and eventually it pops.” The event is booked to take place at the Westhill Holiday Inn this Sunday evening, with a little above 80 people expected to be in attendance.
Mr. Beedie said the “Live and Uncut” session would look to reduce the effect of Stigma by stripping it down and then speaking out on mental health issues. He said further: “this is about reaching out to peoples’ hearts and saying we need to focus on and talk about the issue and the real thing. “I’m going to be sharing my own experiences through my time in the army and also while I was working offshore, looking back at people that I’ve lost and how all these experiences have affected my family and me. “This is about making the Stigma lose its potency, and then people get to talk about mental health in a very open and sincere manner.
William Kellogg is a veteran writer who’s covered the subject of the intersection of technology, health and mental wellness for nearly two decades.