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distressed ex-military friend - warning might touch a nerve, don't read if it might

(16 Posts)
lilolilmanchester Wed 18-Sep-13 22:50:46

first of all, really don't know where to post this and also apologise in advance if i am posting in the wrong place and especially if this touches a nerve, but don't know what else to do.

I have recently been put back in touch with a friend from over 30 years ago. We were very close then, but lost touch. He was in the forces, not going to give too many details other than he is totally traumatised by not only what he saw, but what he did (had to do).... I don't have the skills to help him but he seriously needs help, and tells me there is nowhere for ex-servicemen to go for counselling/support. I have googled a couple of sites and am coming to the same conclusion. He is messaging me night and day, is clearly in a bad place (having been out of the services for at least 10 years) , I don't have the capacity or the expertise to help him through this but would dearly like to point him in the right direction.... if there is one. Any ideas?

meditrina Wed 18-Sep-13 22:58:34

Fortunately for your friend, his knowledge is out of date.

There is vererans support, including counselling and psych services, both is NHS (MoD specialist unit) and charities.

He needs to see his GP and ask for the referral to the specialist centre (I'll google for the exact info, but I think it's at St Thomas in London - don't know if it has satellites elsewhere).

Also, he needs to get in touch with Combat Stress - there's an MoD funded hotline for this.

And generally getting caseworker support from SSAFA or RBL might help, and Veterans Aid can also signpost other organisations depending on his exact needs.

meditrina Wed 18-Sep-13 23:00:49

Veterans Mental Health Services

meditrina Wed 18-Sep-13 23:05:29



[[ Veterans Aid]{

These three tend to work together, so he need only be in touch with one of them for similar support - pick the one he thinks best of.

lilolilmanchester Wed 18-Sep-13 23:06:04

thank you meditrina. For the London centre, is there any support to get him there (he lives a long way from London and is currently unemployed so also has financial difficulties) He just needs to talk to someone who understands, I can't possibly do that and have googled for ages and have only been able to find help for people currently in service or with physical disabilities. I will check out your links and forward on, thank you.

meditrina Wed 18-Sep-13 23:06:26

Oops: Veterans Aid (should be clickable now).

meditrina Wed 18-Sep-13 23:08:34

The first link I posted shows there are are regional centres for the mental health services. I hope one of those is more reachable. If he is also strapped for cash, then SSAFA is probably the best place to try to spring travel expenses from someone (they can broker it with eg his Regimental/Corps Benevolent Fund, or other military focussed grant giving organisation).

lilolilmanchester Wed 18-Sep-13 23:12:52

thank you so much, I really appreciate your advice and links, will take a look tomorrow and forward on to him.

MrsGSR Wed 18-Sep-13 23:22:14

I can't link as I'm on my phone, but 'Big White Wall' is free to join for service personnel and veterans. Apparently PTSD is something they have a lot of experience with. I'm not sure if it's quite what your looking for but has good reviews on the nhs website.

lilolilmanchester Wed 18-Sep-13 23:35:59

thank you, too tired to check links out/google tonight but will do so as soon as I get the chance. Thank you so much.

ParsingFancy Wed 18-Sep-13 23:38:03

Combat Stress contact info:
Helpline 0800 138 1619
General enquiries 01372 587 000

I've heard very good things about them - particularly that so many of the staff are ex-military and will understand exactly where he's coming from.

lilolilmanchester Wed 18-Sep-13 23:42:13

thank you too ParsingFancy.

I couldn't believe there was no support available, very glad to hear that there is. I can't help him as much as I'd like because I don't have the right experience. WIll check it all out and pass on the links, am sure he'll be very grateful x

ParsingFancy Wed 18-Sep-13 23:48:41

There's also a textable no: text 07537 404 719

The phone Helpline is available 24-hours.

Combat Stress say it takes an average of 13 years from leaving the forces for a veteran to make contact with them. So your friend won't be out of the ordinary.

And please, wish him well from me.

lilolilmanchester Thu 19-Sep-13 08:20:53

I will, thank you.

penguin73 Thu 19-Sep-13 10:12:27

If you PM me his rough location there are also a lot of 'local' organisations that can help all over the country. He might find one of these easier to approach.

EmmaNut Sun 02-Mar-14 20:18:59

Hi I can recommend SSAFA as a starting point: they can potentially help an signpost him in the right direction. Also joining an old boys network might help. All the best x

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