Here in the UK we have great respect for our veterans…
…this is reflected by the huge range of charities that are supported throughout the country.
The vital work that these charities achieve, thanks to the hard work and determination of their employees and their patrons, cannot be underestimated. Leaving the military is a big moment for any soldier – it symbolises the end of their life as part of a squad and the beginning of their new life as a single unit. This transition from being part of a supportive team to operating solo can conjure up a series of mental challenges that, until recently, have not been properly recognised by the military.
Thankfully, there are a number of UK-based charities that specialise in providing in-depth counselling and support for veterans who are struggling with making the transition, or are perhaps still dealing with psychological issues that have developed during their times in the service.
If you’re in need of counselling, know someone who does, or perhaps just need a friendly voice to talk to, check out one of the following charities to see how they can help:
Help for Heroes
Probably one of the most recognised armed forces charities in the UK, the money that Help for Heroes raises gets divided amongst a variety of causes, covering anything from Housing Support to Physical Therapy for injured troops. In order to qualify for help you need to have sustained an injury or illness during or as a result of your service in the forces. Recently, the charity has been focusing a lot more on mental health, helping soldiers suffering from PTSD to effectively combat their issues.
Go to: http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/
Whilst the government remains a little cagey in their treatment of Gulf War Syndrome and the debilitating effects of PTSD, there are a few charities that focus entirely on this issue. PTSD Resolution uses a nationwide network of 200 qualified therapists to provide treatment sessions to Veterans who suffer from mental health problems that are a result of military trauma. Their help reaches out to veterans who are struggling to cope with civilian life, as well as those with drug addictions or who are currently incarcerated.
Go to: http://www.ptsdresolution.org/index.php
Founded in 1932 as The Embankment Fellowship Centre, Veterans Aid has been finding accommodation for homeless veterans since it’s inception. Initially set up to combat the huge number of ex-military men who were sleeping rough on the streets of London after the fallout of World War I; the charity has built up international recognition for it’s methods that seek to find immediate solutions rather than delayed ones. VA immediately house any veteran that seeks their help in temporary accommodation and then put a programme in place to find the veteran permanent residence and stability.
Go to: https://veterans-aid.net/about/
SSAFA: The Armed Forces Charity
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association is the oldest national Armed Forces charity in the UK. Founded in 1885, the Charity has been helping soldiers and their families for well over 130 years. During World War I, the SSAFA paid out more than £1m to the families of soldiers and commanded it’s own army of 50,000 voluntary workers who were committed to helping out their fellow Brits. Flash forward to today; thanks to high-profile patrons like the Queen and the work of its president Prince Michael of Kent, SSAFA has successfully helped thousands of veterans’ and serving soldiers’ families – providing housing advice, debt advice and help with mental illnesses.