I spent the week in Berlin with B seeing the sights, drinking beer and sampling some very good German food.  No need to add that I took the week off my diet and I’ll be back on full blast tomorrow.  I was out for a walk yesterday, not one of my usual walks and not a pleasant one.

We learned via social media earlier in the week that a local man had gone missing leaving a wife and child.  A major search was undertaken, with mountain rescue, police and a large body of local volunteers.  This was still underway when we returned although the police had scaled it down considerably.  When we mustered in the local school on Sat morning it was all volunteers although the police helicopter and a mountain rescue team were out later.

I’m not a major community player, my work away precludes me from dedicating a regular night to engage and play some kind of role.  I was keen to assist the Duke of Edinburgh scheme but couldn’t gaurantee that I’d be able to meet every week.  For the search though I thought it important to go and add myself as extra eyes and boots on the ground.  I’ve walked all around the town and know it reasonably well.  Groups were formed when people came with 2 – 3 friends and I was tasked at the end with a few other waifs and singles.  The areas had all been searched before but this was another hopefully more thorough search.  With over 70 people taking part it was hoped to find something.

One square kilometre, with a few large open fields, search through varied terrain took us the better part of three hours.  Pushing through the undergrowth, checking nooks and crannies and farm buildings was time consuming.  I had my Satmap GPS with me and so was able to record where we’d been within our area on the 1:25k map software.  This was quite a boon and allowed us to focus on other areas.

Alas our search was called off in full daylight early afternoon.  It could only mean one thing.  It was and it was the worst expected outcome.  I don’t know the reasons or circumstances of this poor soul but it did make me think about people with mental health issues.

There has been a lot of press this year about mental health and there are a number of avenues for support.  I have a number of ex and serving military with PTSD and know some of their daily struggles.  There is support out there and an occasional check on people with nothing more than a ‘how’s you?’ followed by the time to listen to them can help.

It’s not just military veterans

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