11 May More Veterans Are Seeking Help for Mental Health
In light of Mental Health Awareness Week Help for Heroes has released figures which show a significant increase in Veterans and families reaching out to its Hidden Wounds service for advice and support with their mental health this year. Compared to 2015, the average number of men and women getting in touch each month has increased by 109%.
This year has seen efforts across the sector to smash the stigma surrounding the issue of mental health, including a campaign by Help for Heroes in January around “Blue Monday”, and the Heads Together campaign making the Virgin Money London Marathon the ‘mental health marathon’ last month. These campaigns aim to empower those in need of support to take that difficult first step, by reaching out to an individual or organisation they trust. Veterans and family members are showing their strength and bravery by coming forward in rising numbers.
A spokesperson for Help For Heroes said “Help for Heroes is committed to helping all those who have served their country and now need our support with their physical or mental health and wellbeing.”
Retired Group Captain Barrie Griffiths from Chorleywood in Hertfordshire recently spoke at the East Volunteer Conference at Chavasse VC House. Barrie served with the RAF Regiment for 35 years but was forced to retire on medical grounds in April 2015 after sustaining life-changing spinal cord injuries. The biggest challenge to come from his injury though was the effect on his self-esteem and mental health. He believes that Help for Heroes has given him a focus to move forward in his life.
Barrie said: “I hope that the public will continue to support others in their recovery after serving for their country: Their battles will continue for the rest of their life”.