Former soldier Sam Freeman is on a quest to transform attitudes and help support mental health in the military services after seeing friends he served with lose their own fight.
The 45-year-old served in the armed forces for 18 years, working as a chef as well as providing advanced training to troops and civilians, helping to teach them how to source food as well as clean water for drinking and washing in survival situations.
Now, he is embarking on a higher education journey with CU Scarborough, with hopes of making a crucial impact in the mental health field.
After completing the Access to Health and Human Sciences course with CU Scarborough in 2020, Sam is now about to embark on a BSc degree in Applied Psychology, which he hopes will kickstart his bid to help with potentially life-critical mental health support for military workers.
He said: ‘I’ve lost a lot of friends to suicide, particularly people who I served with in the army. I’ve taken the decision that I have to do something. I’ve seen too many families affected by these issues, and it’s time we took the fight to trauma and mental health issues, and that’s why I’m starting my journey in higher education to get the experience and knowledge that I need to make a serious difference.
‘I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to set out on a journey like this, but CU Scarborough are giving me that chance, so I want to go all the way and eventually get my doctorate in psychology. I want to be the individual who can make the decisions that can save and change people’s lives. I have my eyes on gaining the position of consultant clinical psychologist one day. That way, I can truly achieve the full potential of aiding not just the Armed Forces, but the Blue Light Services too.’
Following his lengthy military career, Sam flew through his year on the access course with CU Scarborough, securing excellent grades and setting himself up to move into the next stage of his inspirational learning journey in September.
CU Scarborough, part of Coventry University Group, offers a range of career-focused courses in a supportive environment, with flexible entry requirements and pathways onto courses providing access to higher education for students from a wider range of backgrounds.
The Coventry University Group is encouraging those considering a change in career to reach out for help and advice on courses that could assist them with retraining and reskilling. Sam is a fantastic example of someone who is setting out to take full advantage of that offer as he bids to transform his career path in a valiant effort to make a vital impact on mental health support in the armed forces.