How You Make a Difference In This Community #1

September 29, 2023

In the UK, we are very lucky to have free (at the point of delivery) social and health networks in place to help us. Those who leave the Forces have the option to contact their respective service charity; additional support is also available via SSAFA and The Royal British Legion.

The Career Transition Partnership is a great organisation for members of our Armed Forces once they have an end date for their period of service. The CTP will help personnel from two years before they leave their role through to two years after. Further details can be found via the following link:
https://www.ctp.org.uk/

Despite this, I’m told that some forces personnel struggle when they leave their unit because they lose the structure and organisation they have benefitted from while they served as well as those around them with whom they have served.

Suddenly they have to cope with finding accommodation, organising broadband and gas/electric suppliers, insurances, etc. All these were provided seamlessly for them while they were in the Forces and it can be overwhelming for some to have to take on all of this. Even those who have been taught what to do can have problems; it’s not so easy to learn new things after a certain age as well as keep in touch with new rules and regulations that come in, both locally and nationally.

Others need help in budgeting; you can’t blow your weekly pay cheque in the pub on the Friday and find that you can’t afford any food for the family, let alone petrol to get you to work the following week.

Your partner might not find it funny that you’ve put salt in the sugar tub and she’s poured it over the kids cereal unlike Deano who thought it was hysterical when you did it to him!

All of these problems can result in low spirits to homelessness and worse.

For some, the answer may be that we need to invest far more time and effort into helping them once they leave in order to ensure that they have the best chances of succeeding. You can’t predict when you are going to need that support, whether from a business perspective or something personal. Sometimes, it happens when you wake up in the middle of the night. Our feelings cannot be shoe horned into a prescheduled slot and one size does not fit all, especially when dealing with mental health.

I was shocked when I heard Jason Fox from Channel 4’s “SAS Who Dares Wins” speaking about the moment he was going to commit suicide. I could not understand how one of our special forces had got to such a low point in his life. Even worse was discovering that he was one of many who have been affected by their experiences serving in the military.

I’ve since learnt that the main reason for this lies in trauma, be that a single large event or a series of smaller hurts that have built up. This trauma can be healed, slowly but it is something that needs regular support-being sent away with meds and another appointment in a month isn’t enough. One of the main reasons for setting up this community is because I know we can become that pillar for others in need.

Some of you may have read my story about how Nicki helped me; so please never under-estimate how something as simple as a kind word, smile, joke or just letting another driver pull out in front of you in a traffic jam makes that  difference.

Just having an account on here and popping in when you have a moment, even if it’s while you’re being made to watch the soaps, will positively impact others. Just posting a funny meme can make someone smile when they come online and see it. Alternatively you could comment on someone’s post; that would help them feel a connection.

If you’re someone in need of support, please reach out. We are here to help you.

 

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