Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, is inviting veterans, their families and the charity’s staff to take over its social media channels and share their own videos on Wednesday 10 October to mark World Mental Health Day.
The charity’s Twitter and Facebook accounts will be made available to former servicemen and women who have been supported by Combat Stress, along with staff and supporters, to post their videos about what mental health awareness means to them. By sharing their own thoughts and stories, our contributors will emphasise that it’s ok to talk about mental health.
Next month the nation commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War, a conflict that saw more than 80,000 cases of shell shock reported. Combat Stress was founded in 1919 and has since treated thousands of former servicemen and women struggling with their mental health. In the last decade, the charity has seen a 97% increase in veterans seeking help.
Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: “We know the real difference that conversations about mental health can make. Many veterans tell us how they found the courage to call us for help after hearing a former serviceman or woman open up about their own mental health.
“By sharing as many stories as possible from our staff, supporters and veterans on World Mental Health Day, we can break down stigma and reach out to veterans struggling in silence.
“We want to let veterans, their families and friends know that if they have any concerns about mental health, we’re here for them.”
Veterans and their families can call the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline on 0800 138 1619 for free confidential advice and support. You can also text us on 07537 404 719 (standard charges may apply for texts) or visit combatstress.org.uk to find out how to get support.
About Combat Stress
Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.
For almost a century we’ve helped former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health issues like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Each year we see an average of more than 2,000 referrals. Demand for our services continues to grow – in the last ten years we’ve had a 97% increase in referrals.
On average it takes 13 years after leaving the military for veterans to contact Combat Stress for help, by which time their condition is often highly complex. However, veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts are coming to Combat Stress much sooner (four and six years respectively).
To help veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services:
- Short-stay clinical treatment at our treatment centres in Ayrshire and Surrey
- A specialist PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme – delivered at our treatment centres
- Occupational therapy – delivered at our treatment centres and in the community, we use meaningful and creative activity to encourage hope, wellbeing and recovery
- Outpatients – assessment by psychiatrists and psychologists – at our treatment centres and in the community – enables us to diagnose, define and deliver the treatment veterans require
- Community Teams – providing treatment and practical support to veterans. Last year our regional community teams undertook almost 5,400 face-to-face appointments
- Peer Support Service – led by veterans for veterans, it’s the first UK-wide service of its kind for those with mental health problems. The service enables them to share their experiences, receive support and socialise with others with similar experiences.
- Substance Misuse Case Management Service – helping veterans to access the services for their drug and alcohol problems so their mental health issues can be addressed
- We have a 24-hour Helpline available to veterans and their families (0800 138 1619) and to serving personnel and their families (0800 323 4444)
Our website: combatstress.org.uk
On Twitter: @CombatStress
On Facebook: facebook.com/CombatStress
On LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/combat-stress