As the current events in Afghanistan unfold, employees may experience a mixture of emotions: anger, frustration and even a strong sense of being let down. It will be a particularly difficult time for those who have served in our Armed Forces. The service leavers and veterans who have given the most may be struggling in the light of the recent events and may need support.

Veterans may feel angry, upset and bewildered by the current events. This may manifest itself in unexplained or unusual behaviour in the workplace; recognise this against any departure from the individuals ‘baseline’ behaviour. In the first instance encourage veterans to talk with others who have served to help them make sense of the current situation.

We are also aware that the recent events may also serve as a trigger to delayed PTSD from those who served in the early phases in Afghanistan.

Please recognise the limits of your own competence and unless you are a qualified counsellor or therapist refer the veteran to the appropriate agency. There are many services and support options for those who are struggling.

It is important to offer support and guidance for those who need it, whether it be a family member, friend, colleague or employees it is important to notice when someone may be struggling. This could include Changes in mood, behaviour, or personality; Avoidance of places and situations; Anger, frustration and overload of emotions. These could be signs that someone is struggling or needs extra support. At this point it is important that you advise them to seek professional help.

We have created a list below of charities and organisations that can provide support for Service Leavers, Veterans and their families:

Veterans Gateway
Support available 24/7 via email, chat, text or phone
www.veteransgateway.org.uk

NHS Op COURAGE
If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available from Op COURAGE:
The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.
https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/armed-forces-and-veterans-healthcare/veterans-nhs-mental-health-services/

NHS 111 service
Call 111 This provides help if you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do.
www.111.nhs.uk

Samaritans
Call 116 123
This provides a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you.
www.samaritans.org

Mind
Information, support and help
Infoline on 0300 123 3393
Email: [email protected]
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd-and-complex-ptsd/about-ptsd/

Combat Stress
24-hour Helpline 0800 138 1619 remains available to all veterans and their families for confidential mental health advice and support. online self-help is also available for guidance and support.
www.combatstress.org.uk

Staying Alive App
Download here This provides a pocket suicide prevention resource for the UK, packed full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in crisis.

Together All
Togetherall is a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. https://account.v2.togetherall.com/register/uk-armed-forces

DMWS
Provide a high-quality medical welfare service to those who serve the nation and the community when they are in the patient care pathway, in order to deliver capability and productivity.
0800 9993 697
[email protected]
https://dmws.org.uk

Office for Veterans Affairs
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/support-for-veterans

Specific support in Scotland:
https://www.veteransfirstpoint.org.uk

Specific support in Wales:
https://www.veteranswales.co.uk

Specific support in Northern Ireland:
https://nivso.org.uk

Specific mental health support:
https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/armed-forces-and-veterans-healthcare/veterans-nhs-mental-health-services

SSAFA
www.ssafa.org.uk

Royal British Legion
www.britishlegion.org.uk

Help for Heroes
https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk