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Leeds couple praised in Parliament for PTSD run

MP Stuart Andrew, Louisa Rodriguez, Elizabeth Yarwood, Nick Cane and Simon Buckden outside 10 Downing Street

MP Stuart Andrew, Louisa Rodriguez, Elizabeth Yarwood, Nick Cane and Simon Buckden outside 10 Downing StreetHeadingley and Burley Park line

by Lauren Wafer-Kiddle

A Leeds MP addressed the issue of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Question Time yesterday after a local couple finished a gruelling 216 mile run to 10 Downing Street to raise awareness of the condition.

Simon Buckden, 41, and Louisa Rodriguez, 30, both of Leeds, ran 216 miles from Leeds to London over seven days arriving yesterday (March 26).

Simon, who developed PTSD after being abused as a child, said: “I am very proud as a person who has PTSD to have overcome much pain and symptoms to complete this historic run and I hope it gives hope for many out there.”

MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough Stuart Andrew spoke yesterday at parliament asking the Prime Minister to pay tribute to the epic run that Simon and Louisa completed.
Prime Minister David Cameron replied: “I am happy to join my hon. Friend in paying tribute to those people, who achieved so much through their run and by raising and highlighting the importance of this issue. Organisations, such as Combat Stress, do an extraordinary job in our country.

“We must face up to the fact that because of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be many more people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who will need our help and support not just this year and next year, but long into the future.”

Mr Andrew said: “I wholeheartedly support Simon and Louisa in their work to create an organisation that will campaign and educate on PTSD, in all its forms.”

Simon and Louisa delivered the Book of PTSD to Downing Street yesterday in the hopes that PM David Cameron will read it. Later that day, they attended the All Parliamentary Group for Mental Health and discussed the need for better education among health professionals, better research, statistical monitoring and recognition that PTSD is not just a military disorder.

Louisa said: “The run was tough, but it was worth it to raise awareness of all PTSD for anyone affected including partners and loved ones. It was truly an honour to carry the stories and voices of all those affected.”



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