In this brief blog post, we are going to talk about Combat stress, their work with mental health for veterans and how they can help you if you are struggling with your mental health and you are a veteran of the armed forces in the United Kingdom.
Most people are now more aware of how members of the armed forces have a lot of mental health issues after they return home from combat zones. As you can imagine combat zones can be very violent, people die, people get shot, people get stabbed, this may be friends or enemies but regardless of how the violence occurs, it could have a long term impact on the mental health of members of the armed forces who have returned.
Who are Combat stress?
Combat stress is a UK based charity in the United Kingdom with charity Registration No 206002 in England and SC038828 in Scotland. Combat stress offers mental health services to former members of the British armed forces. The mental health services provided by Combat stress include therapeutic, clinical community and residential treatment. Combat stress provides their mental health services to former members of the armed forces who may be struggling from a range of mental health issues.
This could be depression, anxiety, PTSD, loneliness, social anxiety disorder and more. The treatment is provided to former members of the armed forces for free.
Combat stress states that it usually takes on average about 13 years before former members of the armed forces come to them seeking help. This help will usually be in the form of advice and then treatment. The average time taken to seek help for armed forces veterans who served in Afghanistan or Iraq is much lower.
The charity was formed in 1919, as the Ex-Servicemen’s Welfare Society, following World War I; when the effects of shell shock were just becoming known. Shell shock is now more commonly known as PTSD.
What does Combat stress focus on?
They focussed on PTSD as many former armed forces personnel now suffer from PTSD.
Armed forces members who returned from combat zones were usually not looked after and their mental health will usually deteriorate.
Combat stress took on this challenge and is now helping over five thousand veterans including veterans from Afghanistan and Iran war.
Combat stress provides support for those suffering from:
- Clinical depression
- Raised anxiety states
- Substance abuse (drug and alcohol)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Combat stress states that “This support is delivered throughout England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland; through three treatment centres (Hollybush House, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland; Audley Court, Newport, Shropshire, England; and Tyrwhitt House, Leatherhead, Surrey, England), along with community outreach teams.”
What services do Combat stress provide?
Combat stress provides a range of services which include:
Provision of regional Welfare officers who provide advice and aid to those members of the armed forces suffering from mental health issues.
They also provide treatments for PTSD which include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
- Behaviour therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Solution-focused therapy
- Social skills training
- Physical exercise and outdoor activity
- Occupational and recreational therapies
- Treatment centres
- Art therapy
- Anger management
- Anxiety management
- Sleep hygiene
If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, loneliness or any similar mental health issue then seeking help for it may be a good option. Mental health issues such as depression, loneliness and anxiety can affect anyone of us.
If you are under 18 then CAMHS, an NHS run programme may just be the answer for your mental health struggles.
You should look to see if you meet the CAMHS referral criteria and then fill in the CAMHS referral form.