Campaign to support veterans under stress

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A NEW campaign has been launched today to battle psychological disorders that prevent veterans from seeking help.

The campaign is launched by Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity specialising in the treatment of veterans’ mental health.

It will be funded by Comic Relief and will address the stigma that surrounds veterans’ mental health disorders.

In a recent survey, 81 per cent of veterans who responded revealed that they felt ashamed or embarrassed about their mental ill-health.

On average veterans wait 13.1 years between leaving the armed forces and seeking help from the charity. This delay often results in their mental health needs becoming worse.

Without a diagnosis, appropriate treatment or support, veterans’ psychological problems can lead to their marriage breaking up, unemployment, social isolation and substance abuse. Some even have suicidal thoughts.

In Hampshire there are 146 veterans who are currently receiving support from Combat Stress.

John Bromley, regional welfare officer for Hampshire, said: ‘Combat Stress has been around since 1919, so we’ve seen the effects of stigma for the last 92 years.

‘Every week I meet men and women who have bravely fought for their country but, now battling mental health problems are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek help.’

Call the Helpline on 0800 138 1619, text 07537 404 719 or visit combatstress.org.uk.