Whilst we appreciate that policy-making is the role of elected Governments, we still unapologetically reserve the right to protest issues that align with our values. When it comes to furthering the causes of people deeply impacted by their time in the military, we will do all we can to influence lawmakers to make these people’s lives easier.
Influencing policy is hardly rational and it’s important to appreciate the needs to take baby steps. After all, society rarely changes overnight. Many of the improvements relating to how society views mental health have literally occurred over decades. However, if it was not for folk like ourselves who were not afraid to stand up for these issues, we doubt very little would have improved.
We currently live in times of austerity. Governments claim to be affording mental illnesses a parity of esteem with physical illnesses, but these ‘headlines’ are rarely backed with sufficient funding. We feel this particular issue requires much attention and we aim to tackle the issue of funding extensively in the articles we publish on this website.
We believe better funding initiatives that will make a difference to current and ex-military personnel will be beneficial to the whole of society. We also would like to add that we do not wish to come across as taking the moral high ground on this issue. We believe solutions that are put forward must consist of compromise in terms of the actual funding that’s realistically available for initiatives of this nature.
The sad truth, however, is that as a society, we are not doing enough to help former military personnel who are now suffering from conditions such as PTSD and substance misuse. Many of these people have access to very little or no help whatsoever in helping them overcome these very real and very serious mental health conditions.
Some of the symptoms of these conditions include nightmares, insomnia, and constant fatigue. Due to these symptoms, these people often struggle to function in civilian life.
Many of the people who experience these issues are reluctant to raise these issues with their family or their doctor. It’s thus vitally important that these people are given a voice through websites such as the one you are currently visiting. Many of the stories written by former military personnel are offered to us anonymously because these people do not wish to be stigmatised for suffering from a mental health condition linked to their time in the military.
People suffering from PTSD must also cope with the need to transition into civilian life. The amount of help these people are given to help them make this transition is blatantly inadequate. The Government simply has not invested enough money to help retrain many people leaving the military, and so many of these people are forced to work in low skilled jobs for low pay.
Many people leaving the military will feel institutionalised by having served many years in the military. When these people serve in the military, they are not exposed to many of the issues that arise during civilian life. We feel the Government’s efforts to assist these people has been woefully inadequate. Often, charities have been left to fill this void. We feel these state-of-affairs is inadequate and in need of reform.