Leaving the Armed Forces can be extremely challenging, research shows that those who have left Her Majesty's Armed Forces although very highly trained, struggle accepting that they may need help/support and struggle even more to ask for it. Issue's they can face include: Depression, Survival Guilt, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Homelessness, Gambling addiction, Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Suicidal Tendencies or just settling back into Civvy Street.
Veterans may not even realise that the very attributes and behaviours that kept them and their battle buddies alive don't transfer onto civvy street and they can find themselves in Her Majesty's Prisons. These can be things like Domestic Abuse, Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment in the workplace and so on.
For years, I have worked for Veteran Charities including supporting Veterans within the Criminal Justice System, it has infuriated me how Veterans can be treated in their time of need, It equally infuriates me when I am attending yet another funeral from a Veteran committing suicide.
I can empathise and relate with what Veterans go through as I am also Front Line War Veteran myself and have danced with the devil numerous times.
I am still fighting the fight and have turned my negative experiences into positive lessons.
I will never put anyone's picture in the public eye or use them as a case study to obtain further funding.
I have the personal and professional experience, a BA (Hons) degree in Counselling and a proven track record.
Youngest sibling of 4, dragged up on a council estate in the North East of England, left school with no qualifications due to being a somewhat troubled youngster let’s just say, so I joined the British Army for all the usual reasons, Queen and Country, Career, but also as many of us do I joined in order to get away from the shit life I found myself in, running away I guess you could say.
I had the honour to serve with The First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers as a front line Infantry soldier/commander from 1994 to 2004 during which I got to experience the world, which includes operational tours of Bosnia, Northern Ireland (Londonderry and South Armagh) and was one of the Desert Rats who liberated Basra, Iraq (Op Telic 1).
After serving my time I became lost in the world and subsequently struggled with life, ended up divorced, bankrupt, unemployed, street homeless, alone and isolated with no family or friends, I was a very angry man with ill mental health labelled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I had no life or desire to live and became suicidal.
Thankfully I was strong enough to pull my head out my arse and sort myself out (bit by bit). Realising I needed to re-educate myself I went back to college then onto University and after 5 years of hard emotional slog I earnt my BA (Hons) degree in Counselling and became a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
I have worked for years in Veteran support and Counselling with various charities and also privately. I tried to fit in to this world however I'm not a fluffy Counsellor, and I can't help but speak my mind, something that civvy street struggles' to hear.
Top and tail of it is, I know how to help and support you, I don't offer sympathy but I can empathise with you and I can relate to you,
because I've been there too.