Pets, poems and pottery – helping to cope with PTSD
Mental health issues can affect ex-servicemen and women of all ages, just as they can anyone in society.
Yet it’s all too easy for those of us in the civilian world to assume that it’s PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) that mostly impacts on the military mind. But of course that’s only a part of it. Mental health conditions include not only PTSD but depression, psychological injury and anxiety as well.
And just as there is a range of issues, so there is a range of clinical treatments and welfare support too.
The mental health charity, Combat Stress, has more than 6,000 veterans registered with them. They spend £15 million a year to deliver a unique range of specialist treatment and support.
The service provided is a vital lifeline for these veterans, and their families. They are helped to understand the issues they face, and as a small part of the healing process, the charity offers the veterans ways to cope with the stress and anxiety that can build up.
By using creative arts such as painting, pottery or playing the guitar, or by creating a calm environment in which to feel safe, veterans can relax when the mind is racing.
The treatment and support services that Combat Stress can offer are always free of charge for veterans. The charity is Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered and it is the NHS England PTSD specialist treatment provider for veterans.