New mental health app seeks to support veterans
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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) launched a new mental health awareness app for veterans on Monday, as part of Mental Health Awareness Week.
The Veterans Mental Heath app includes help and guidance on key mental health conditions, as well as videos of veterans telling their own stories of coping with anxiety and stress. The MoD has recently seen success with the Joining Forces app, which targets serving personnel with tailored information on 11 mental health problems including anxiety, post-traumatic stress and depression, as well as highlighting where to access help.
Bromford work with a number of veterans providing support services. One customer, Greg*, served in the RAF between 1980 – 1995, including a tour in the Falklands in 1982.
During the conflict, Greg saw active combat, which led to him killing an Argentinian solider.
He told us, “I recall hearing the solider calling out for his mother as he died. It’s something that stuck with me, and something I can never forget.”
After leaving the RAF, Greg said that he felt numb for a while. “It took a few years for what I went through to ‘hit home’. It has definitely had an impact on my mental health.”
Greg suffers from depression, anxiety and has issues with alcohol .
His previous support worker, Steve Nestor, believes the app will certainly help people like Greg (and their families) to identify and manage conditions.
“Greg has always said he is proud to have served in the RAF, but says that his experiences have left him broken.”
“While this app might help identify the initial symptoms of a mental health condition, each person will need the support of people around them. Greg has needed help managing his tenancy, budgeting and finding organisations that understand his very unique situation.”
The MoD states that it is ‘committed to providing access to mental health services to members of the armed forces, their families and veterans. This includes access to the Combat Stress 24-hour helpline, e-learning packages for GPs, and the Big White Wall, an online service providing help 24/7.”
*'Greg's' name has been changed to protect his identity.