CAN YOU IMAGINE being forced out of the job you love, the job you have given your all to? Unforeseen circumstances taking you out of the only life you know – the one that you have spent years training for?
This has been a reality for almost 40,000 service men and women in the last 20 years. Each year, 2,000 veterans in this position are falling through significant gaps in support. They are left vulnerable – at risk of poor health and financial security, many also face mental illnesses and a lessened quality of life.
In a recent survey conducted by Help for Heroes amongst those it supports, it found that: of the 403 veterans asked, nearly 70 percent reported transitioning out of the British Armed Forces as a ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’ experience; 62 percent felt they did not receive enough support for adjusting to post-service life; and almost half of all people surveyed were discharged without a diagnosis or treatment. These are staggering statistics.
The charity also asked the surveyed veterans to explain how being medically discharged made them feel. One said: “totally in despair, no prospects. Loss of a livelihood as part of a team. Depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal thoughts. Totally broken”.
With your support, Help for Heroes is fighting to fix the gaps and is calling on the government for an independent review into the medical discharge process.
Help for Heroes is calling on you to join its mission
The charity is campaigning to ensure that no one is medically discharged before receiving a diagnosis, for a standard minimum transition time of six months and for compensation and pension allowances to be known to the individual before they are discharged – among many other changes.
Our official charity partner, Help for Heroes, is on a mission to improve the support for all wounded veterans. The ‘40,000 Strong’ campaign was launched in Manchester’s Arndale Centre at the beginning of October with an installation of a 40,000-person model sized armed force to show the scale of the issue. Mini-installations are now touring the UK until February 2020, details of which can be found on the Help for Heroes website.
Help for Heroes is calling on you to join its mission: you can do this by visiting the installations, raising awareness by sharing the campaign on social media using the hashtag #40ThousandStrong, or by making a donation to receive your very own limited edition figure from the installation. Visit 40ThousandStrong.co.uk and join the mission to help all wounded veterans stand strong.
For more info, see helpforheroes.org.uk