A HORWICH writer has been given backing by the NHS to make a film in a bid to help army veterans living with the mental wounds of war.

Peter Carruthers is working on the Unload film project which he hopes will make a difference to the lives of soldiers and veterans and their families all over the world.

The father-of-two’s previous work has already been used globally to raise awareness and understanding of veterans’ issues and has been praised by high-profile figures in the sector, including actor Sir Patrick Stewart, patron of charity Combat Stress.

Mr Carruthers, aged 36, of Crown Lane, said: “There’s still a lot of stigma, particularly with men and veterans.

“We want to tackle that and encourage people to come forward and get the therapy they need.”

Mr Carruthers served in the Royal Air Force from 1996 to 2003 as an aircraft technician, at bases in the UK, before training to be an actor at the Arden School of Theatre.

The 40-minute film follows an army veteran, called Eddie, played by Mr Carruthers, who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and his journey towards recovery through psychological therapy.

It is based on the successful and award-winning NHS funded therapy service The Military Veterans Service.

Filmmaker Mr Carruthers, who is also a university lecturer on men’s and military mental health, said: “As part of the research I spent a lot of time with the project at Pennine Care Trust.

“I interviewed senior therapists and also had an extensive group discussion with their clients who were going through, or had previously been through, their therapy programme.

"I even spent a week going through the early stages of the therapy programme in a roleplay scenario, where I was able to experience the process first hand whilst in character.”

The new film and two-year project hopes to raise global awareness of veterans who go through psychological therapy for trauma-based mental health issues, and also to demonstrate that the majority of veterans return from war with no mental health problems.

It was originally commissioned by the NHS, who have given £20,000 of funding, and Mr Carruthers now needs to raise at least £40,000, before September 3.

Mr Carruthers’ previous films include Fallout, a short film which shows the reality of living day to day with the psychological wounds of war and Civvy Street, which shows the difficulties many veterans face.

To support the project, visit indiegogo.com and search UNLOAD.