Columnist Nicole King: Operation Jigsaw

Columnist Nicole King: Operation Jigsaw. Image - Operation Jigsaw

I HAD most of my column written for this week’s #MarbellaMoments but then I met Chris Keville. The introduction came through my lovely Kathryn Stevenson who thought his project worthy of being shared; I totally agree and would ask you all to pass it on to your friends and for them to then do likewise.

Chris’ goal is simple: to create a global support platform for those suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other mental health issues. He’s called it Operation Jigsaw: to help put the pieces back together.

Chris served for 14 years as a submariner and knows all too well what a human being can be subjected to, physically and emotionally. What they witness will undeniably haunt them for a lifetime and there’s no system in place to help them cope with a ‘normal’ life. Chris explains: “The predictable downward spiral can lead to many a ruined relationship and broken home. Many turn to substance abuse to cope. They can become homeless and further their self‐abuse. Ultimately this often leads to many taking their lives.”

The idea to create a support platform came to Chris whilst sitting in a bar in Belfast, Maine after a Vietnam vet entered the bar in his uniform, but also with a wig, make‐up and nail varnish. Everyone had laughed at him but he clearly had mental health issues and needed to be befriended, not ridiculed.

Chris clarifies “Our aim is to provide a ‘safe place’ platform where people are able to reach out to talk to each other when they feel they need to. Sometimes you lie awake at 2am with no one to talk to. There will always be someone around the world who also needs to talk. This is not therapy, nor do you have to reveal who you are. You can be totally anonymous.

“When you look at social media, the people you see online are people you’ve added as friends. You may not want to talk to them to avoid being judged. This is an app that allows you to talk about anything with strangers. The only reason they are logged in is that they also want to talk to someone. You don’t have to talk about how you feel. This is purely to allow people to talk any time day or night with people who feel similar.”

Suicide prevention helplines were a main topic in last year’s United Nationalities of Marbella summit #UN‐ MS2021 so I fully appreciate how Chris’ initiative is going to fill a much‐needed gap. You can also join Operation Jigsaw if you don’t have any issues but just want to be there to talk with someone who does. Operation Jigsaw.

#BetterTogether www.opjigsaw.com

My interview with Chris can be seen tonight on Marbella Now, for the first showing at 11pm on RTV Marbella (on TV and via streaming) and then online and social media.


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