I am a semi-professional Blacksmith who started a program called Forge Ahead to teach Soldiers with PTSD the craft. AMA!
Hey folks! Like the name implies, I am a semi-pro blacksmith (I have a day job but do this on my off hours) and recently, I wanted to know what I could do to help these men and women, even in a small way, to help them cope with PTSD. I, after talking to a friend who suffers from PTSD, came up with the name "Forge Ahead". It's not a charity, it's not a program per se, it's more of an idea. The idea is to help these men and women by giving them a skill they may not have had before. One thing that is vitally important for these people is to get out and socialize. And learning new things in a safe environment is a great way to do that. And really, what's more manly than heating up metal and wailing on it with a hammer? All I'm asking my fellow Smiths is to offer one class, free of charge, to Military members, serving or retired, who are dealing with PTSD. They can offer more if they like (and that would be wonderful) but try it at one.
Now, as for a Proof pic here it is; Imgur
That's me holding my favorite hammer and the logo a friend of mine came up with for the program. It has a Canadian Maple leaf on it for now, but soon there will be a Star for those teachers and organizations in the USA that want to provide the service. She can even put a Union Jack there or the Stars of the Aussie flag.
Here is a close up of the display board if any of you are interested; Imgur
And the logo; Imgur
I'll try and answer questions as best I can, as often as I can. If you know of anyone who teaches Blacksmithing (or any craft for that matter) let them know, put the bug in their ear, and let it go from there.
Here is the link to the Facebook page where people can upload photos and stories about the classes and how they went. People can and, I hope, will post photos of the items they make. https://www.facebook.com/groups/495149097200606/