SMOOTH SAILING: Ross “Mac” McIntosh will be sailing off in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
SMOOTH SAILING: Ross “Mac” McIntosh will be sailing off in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Andrea Francolini

Mates help Mac get moving again to enjoy life

THE hardest thing about dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder is talking openly about it, says Kingaroy ex-serviceman Ross "Mac" McIntosh.

Almost a year after leaving the military, he found it difficult to talk about the mental wounds from his 15 years of service.

"I didn't know there was anything wrong, but everyone else had an idea that something wasn't right with me," Mr McIntosh said.

"Some days you are right as rain, but some days you can't even leave the house."

But when he came across charity and rehabilitation service for ex-servicemen Mates4Mates, he found it easier to talk about what he went through.

"You put on a mask and don't let anyone know there is a problem," he said.

"But when you are around blokes from a different background you can let your guard down."

By chatting with other servicemen and taking part in challenges, he found a way to deal with his PTSD.

He already sailed with the crew as part of the Hamilton Island Race Week in August, but said he looked forward to the challenge of the Sydney to Hobart.

"Being on the boat is a really good outlet, because the harder and faster you go the harder and faster she goes," he said.

"That's why Mates4Mates is so good, it gives you these things to challenge and push yourself.

"If it wasn't for them I would probably still be hiding on my property and only surfacing when required."

For more information go to mates4mates.org.

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