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Mental Health Awareness Month: Brooke Mead

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The Invictus Games serves as a platform that supports the recovery and rehabilitation of international wounded, injured and sick service personnel and Veterans through sport. Each competitor’s journey embodies a fighting spirit, as well as their motivation to move on with their lives, to gain a new place in life, and to not let themselves be defined by the trauma they have experienced. 

Many competitors have invisible illnesses and injuries that cannot be seen. One of our missions at the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025, presented by ATCO and Boeing, is to continue to engage in meaningful, compassionate conversations surrounding mental health, invisible illnesses and injuries. With the hope to aid in the destigmatization of mental health, where everyone feels empowered to address their mental health concerns openly and without shame. 

Brooke Mead is a previous Invictus Games competitor, who had the opportunity to represent Team Australia at Düsseldorf 2023. Brooke enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy at the age of 18, and soon after, she was deployed to Operation Resolute. 

“I joined the Royal Australian Navy at 18 and was quickly thrust into the thick of Operation Resolute. This operation focused on preventing unauthorized entry into Australian territory. As a member of the Patrol Boat Boarding Party Team, I actively engaged in intercepting boats and participating in body recoveries.” 

During her service, Brooke was diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety while sustaining multiple physical injuries. Brooke experienced a severe spinal cord injury, leading to her medical discharge. 

“I no longer allow my injuries to define me or limit my abilities. I was fitted with a spinal cord stimulator, and through the power of sport and sheer perseverance I managed to rehabilitate my back injury to such an extent that I had the stimulator removed, a rare feat. Each day, I make it a point to prioritize physical activity, especially during moments when my mental well-being is tested.” 

Brooke’s ability to rehabilitate through the power of sport paired with her unbreakable spirit embodies what the Invictus Games stand for. Many individuals who have experienced trauma while serving often struggle with adjusting back to civilian life. 

My transition from service proved so confronting that it nearly cost me my life. The first five years since discharge I was in and out of mental health facilities, struggling to find a sense of purpose to keep going. It wasn’t until I discovered the Invictus Games Foundation that I discovered a reason to strive for improvement – specifically, the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023.” 

Brooke continued; “Sport is at the heart of my ongoing journey towards wellbeing, recovery, and rehabilitation. Whether it’s playing sports or being active with my son and husband, these activities are lifelines that help me find balance and strength, both physically and mentally. Through the power of sport, I’m able to impart valuable lessons to my son. I show him firsthand that limitations, whether physical or mental, do not define one’s path. My commitment to training isn’t just about personal growth; it’s a deeply personal mission to inspire my son, proving to him that resilience and determination can conquer any obstacle life presents.” 

During her ongoing recovery, Brooke has discovered a passion for supporting fellow members of the wounded, injured or sick service community, promoting sports as a catalyst for healing and she finds deep fulfilment in motivating others on their recovery journey. 

Ahead of the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025, Brooke hopes for another chance to be able to represent her home country.  

I feel that I still have so much to gain from being part of a team, and I would love the chance to once again be surrounded by inspiring individuals.” 

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