Invictus Games Foundation launches podcast with healthcare workers

By Zach Harper

The Invictus Games Foundation, of which Prince Harry is a patron, is set to launch a brand new podcast that connects U.K. healthcare workers with veterans for a series of important conversations about mental health and the coronavirus pandemic.

The first episode will debut Feb. 11 and will feature Glenn Haughton, a veteran of the Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War. He'll discuss mental health among service members who have returned from working away and what it's like to reconnect with your family.

"For a year now, NHS workers have been engaged in a new kind of battle," the Duke of Sussex said in a statement announcing the podcast. "They have consistently set aside their own physical and emotional health in the service of others. This service and sacrifice resonates deeply with so many in the Armed Forces community.

"With this ongoing project, we know that the NHS and Invictus communities will learn from each other, support each other and lead conversations that everyone can draw from. It is from these shared experiences I hope people can find strength, compassion and understanding, and the inspiration they need for their own recovery and resilience."

The series will span six episodes and will see appearances from Ibrah Ali, a British soldier who served in Iraq; Emanuel Ansah, a soldier with the Royal Army Medical Corporation; Dave Henson, who has worked in the Royal Engineers; John James Chalmers and Ellie Marks, who served in the U.S. Army; and David Wiseman, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"We've seen how the power of sport can help the recovery journey of service personnel post-trauma," Dominic Reid, the Invictus Games Foundation's CEO, said in a statement. "By taking some of the lessons learnt over the last few years, these conversations really bring to life the different support mechanism that are useful for everyone to take a little inspiration from."

"This partnership offers practical support to further complement the already extensive help available for our hard-working staff from the mental health hotline exclusively for NHS workers, through access to health and wellbeing apps which thousands of staff have already benefitted from," Prerana Issar, NHS England and NHS Improvement's chief people officer, said in a statement.

Harry speaks with competitors at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. Photo: © Samir Hussein/WireImage

Since Harry founded the Invictus Games in 2014, the Invictus Games Foundation has operated the annual sporting event for veterans and injured service members. He serves as its patron, helping it fulfill its mission to help create a network of support, belonging and understanding for those involved.

When it was announced the 2021 Invictus Games would be postponed until 2022, the Invictus Games Foundation said it would plan programming opportunities for the next year and would come up with ways to "infuse the spirit of Invictus in your own communities." The podcast series looks to be an extension of that.

We look forward to listening to this vital, important series!

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