Help for Military Veterans – 24/07/12

Jason White It is estimated that approximately 20,000 service personnel leave the Forces every year and many of these suffer with common mental health problems or struggle to readjust to civilian life.

Ex Serviceman Jason White 37 from Walsall explains his battle with mental health and the affect this has had on his life:

“My experiences in the army left me traumatised and I didn’t feel able to talk to friends and family about my feelings because I thought admitting I couldn’t cope might make me seem less of a man, so I turned to alcohol as a way to cope, but this only made things worse”

After the breakdown of his marriage Jason moved back to his home town of Walsall and lost touch with a number of close friends and relatives.  Jason’s drinking habit only got worse and resulted in him committing two criminal offences. 

Feeling that life had got too hard and he had nowhere to turn to Jason became suicidal.  Fortunately for the sake of his daughter Jason sought help from his GP who put him in touch with Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Services.

Jason is now sober and is receiving weekly help and support for his addiction to alcohol and has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of his experiences in the Army.  He is finally finding his feet again and beginning to build a future for himself and his daughter.

“People don’t always think about the after affects you can suffer once you leave the forces and often veterans don’t know where to go for support or feel ashamed to ask for help”

With an increasing number of veterans developing mental health problems after leaving the military Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust have developed their services to recognise when people are suffering from these issues and help provide the necessary support and links with other local agencies to ensure veterans receive the help they need to get back to normality.

Jez Newell, Military Veteran’s Lead , Dudley and Walsall Mental Health NHS Trust advises:  If you know someone who may be suffering as a result of their experiences in the forces or are struggling to readjust to civilian life please encourage them to contact their GP.  There are lots of services on hand to help.