New Hostels Open for Troubled Veterans

#1
Just ran across this News, and from recent TV News and the grapevine, it sounds like the support staff are ex-Forces, magic !! Anyone else got something like this, their way?

Edited to add link from January: http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/def...-personnelarticle-612880-details/article.html

From the Paper today, sorry I haven't found a link yet.:

"HOMELESS ex-servicemen and women are getting a helping hand to 'redesign their lives' at a new hostel.

The House will help up to seven people at a time to get back on track.

"When they leave the armed forces as a world policeman they're carrying a lot of burdens on their backs and don't know how to get rid of them," said ********, area manager for the charity.

"Things they've seen sometimes take a long time to surface and can manifest themselves in many ways. Some call it post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Some personnel have been spending a long time away from home and cannot get used to family life after the comradeship and security of the armed forces.

"A lot of them have had a lot of their decisions made for them and can't handle it when they have to fend for themselves.

"We aim to help them to work with addictive aspects of themselves, if they've turned to drugs and alcohol. Some have lived in cardboard boxes because they're too proud to ask for help.

"Once a person has been with us for six months they're assessed for career prospects and helped to get work, and after they leave they're still given support."

There are two staff, and agencies such as Mind, Ocean Quay and educational services are brought in when required.

Clients are referred by the Royal British Legion and other agencies.

Although Alabaré is connected to the Catholic Church, the organisation takes people of any religion or none, and also runs support and temporary accommodation services for Plymouth City Council."
 
#3
Just looked at the Veterans Aid website actually-

Quote: http://www.veterans-aid.net/pages/news.html
"An investigation published in March 2007 revealed that more than 21,000 full-time servicemen and women and reservists who had served in Iraq suffered from anxiety and depression as a result of their experiences. A not insignificant number of those end up sleeping rough, and that is something that Hugh Milroy, a former RAF wing commander and military welfare specialist, the chairman of the cross-agency Ex-Services Action Group and the chief executive of Veterans Aid, is not prepared to tolerate. He is a believer in immediate and enduring solutions for all homeless servicemen and women."

Mr Milroy's attitude would seem to be very encouraging wouldn't you say?
Can we believe that things will be looking up for homeless veterans in future and that those who refuse to accept there are problems, will finally wake up and shut up.
 
#5
Muggle said:
its about time something was done. its long overdue!
Dunno why, Muggle, there isn't a problem at all, the homeless ex forces problem is waaaaay over hyped :eek: and nobody needs mental health treatment, didn't you know? :wink:
 
#6
It is dreadful the amount of ex-servicemen who find themselves homeless after they leave. There are, however, many homeless people who claim to be ex-services. Do these charities have access to the databases which would allow them to distinguish between the genuine ex-forces personnel, and the walt-tramp?
 
#7
OldStripey said:
Muggle said:
its about time something was done. its long overdue!
Dunno why, Muggle, there isn't a problem at all, the homeless ex forces problem is waaaaay over hyped :eek: and nobody needs mental health treatment, didn't you know? :wink:
reeeeaaaaallly!? i honestly hadn't noticed!

but heck, any money money we get off the government is cash well spent - no matter how little!

*add an extra money to that - money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich mans world (wish i had one!)
 
#8
Joe_Private said:
It is dreadful the amount of ex-servicemen who find themselves homeless after they leave. There are, however, many homeless people who claim to be ex-services. Do these charities have access to the databases which would allow them to distinguish between the genuine ex-forces personnel, and the walt-tramp?
As a layman but working with veterans, so I won't bullsh*t anyone here -
In a word -yes, Joe. In these days of information sharing (user permission based) not only can charlatans be rooted out, but records are tooth combed.

"Factitious" persons also may have mental health issues, it's maybe a case of signposting them to appropriate care. And there is now a vast network of ex-service personnel support services, led by those charities determined to help them.
 
#9
Muggle said:
OldStripey said:
Muggle said:
its about time something was done. its long overdue!
Dunno why, Muggle, there isn't a problem at all, the homeless ex forces problem is waaaaay over hyped :eek: and nobody needs mental health treatment, didn't you know? :wink:
reeeeaaaaallly!? i honestly hadn't noticed!

but heck, any money money we get off the government is cash well spent - no matter how little!

*add an extra money to that - money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich mans world (wish i had one!)
T'was but sarcasm Muggle, irony, :p public donations seem to fund most care projects as government advertises and talks a lot. A bit like one of those Mock Auctions I s'pose. Then again, mustn't be too cynical as the main thread here, is to highlight what's actually being done by caring and committed people. Irony again.
 
#10
OldStripey said:
Muggle said:
OldStripey said:
Muggle said:
its about time something was done. its long overdue!
Dunno why, Muggle, there isn't a problem at all, the homeless ex forces problem is waaaaay over hyped :eek: and nobody needs mental health treatment, didn't you know? :wink:
reeeeaaaaallly!? i honestly hadn't noticed!

but heck, any money money we get off the government is cash well spent - no matter how little!

*add an extra money to that - money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich mans world (wish i had one!)
T'was but sarcasm Muggle, irony, :p public donations seem to fund most care projects as government advertises and talks a lot. A bit like one of those Mock Auctions I s'pose. Then again, mustn't be too cynical as the main thread here, is to highlight what's actually being done by caring and committed people. Irony again.
OS - sarcasm and cynicism(?) is allowed in this case. still think its shocking that public donations are a must in supporting our troops. our Govern-shmut-ment are supposed to help out. Gladly theres folk out there like me ( :D ) who think thats its all worth the cause.

ps - hope i'm not bumming myself here hehehe. (no comments please! 8O ) lol
 
#11
You'll maybe have seen then coming in then, homeless, lost and looking for TLC. What actually goes on, and the histories they have.

If these latest housing schemes kick start the bandwagon for business, better than nothing and only good for the future perhaps.

It is worth it, and you're right IMO Muggle.
 

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#12
Veterans Aid have been doing this work everyday for the last 77 years. They get about 2000 calls for help a year from homeless and vulnerable ex-Service men and women. They have had a powerhouse of specialists working with the Veterans and have in the last two years got over 200 people back on their feet. In the last 3 months more than 20 people have been placed in detox. People come from all over the Country and the world to them for help but the key to their work is Veteran helping Veteran and immediacy. Most of the staff are ex-Service personnel or have a strong Service connection and when guys and girls come in for help they get it there and then. Having an understanding of Service life means that the staff can really empathise with the problems and sort out the mitty characters very quickly, unless you have this unique insight it can't be done effectively. The charity always hands out new clothing becuase they believe that the guys who need help deserve the dignity to be able to look like evrybody else in the street. Tonight the charity is looking after 72 guys. Most of those that want help are damaged (mainly by alcohol) and only a few will return to work but will gain a decent quality of life. Quite a few of the staff working for the charity were homeless ex-Service people. This charity really does the job on a daily basis and makes a difference. This tells the story http://www.veterans-aid.net/pages/news.html
 
#13
An interesting post Purplesplat, thanks for posting it. The link is very much worth a read if you are concerned at all about homeless ex-forces.
I think that the hostel arrangement is an excellent means of helping them make the transition back to civvie street. I don't believe that you should have to fall back on charity to fund it, but I also don't believe the government ever will. Their attitude seems to be that once a person has finished their service, tell them to feck off. I am not being cynical, I sincerely believe that.

I sometimes wonder whether we should start to address the problem whilst they are still serving. I have no real handle on how this should be done but others may well have. Nipping it in the bud just may help n some circumstances.

Good luck and God Bless all who give their service in this cause.
 
#14
Many of us may agree that the age old peculiar bond between ex forces of any ilk, is cathartic in itself. Aside from esoteric bullsh@t I'm starting to spout here, in a nutshell there probably aint no cure like being among your own.

Visitors to Combat Stress, Association clubs and Messes probably know that already. We look after our own and that's a longstanding trend difficult to break.

Yes, maybe the government could do much more than list knowledge and resources on websites, even if they are doing much more lately. We need to see their efforts, and feel the benefits, CASH and commitment much more. Rather than just relying on each other, and charity, which doesn't sit comfortably with some of us, there is plenty of potential capital among big business and I'll bet, in other pots, to push supported veterans' housing schemes forward even faster and stronger than is happening now.

It doesn't stop at supported veterans' housing. The effects of trauma, military lifestyles and ultimate damage to relationships might suggest a need for places of respite, comfort and support when relationships and stability break down, another common phenomenon among veterans and their families. Places to go, drop-ins, open doors for veterans. Lack of these facilities and recognition of need is probably partly why so many veterans fall through the cracks and end up chaotic/addicted/in prison.

Because there's been nothing there for them, and mental health services resources are basically useless in this country. Stigma and labelling still prevails.

And we perhaps mustn't forget that families, wives, kids and partners can also be victims.

We do it for other sectors of society, in fact this country falls over itself for all sorts of people, some deserving causes, and some questionable. Do more for us, perhaps.
 
#15
OldStripey said:
"Factitious" persons also may have mental health issues, it's maybe a case of signposting them to appropriate care. And there is now a vast network of ex-service personnel support services, led by those charities determined to help them.
What CARE would that be and where are these networks?

I am presently working with the director of psychological servives in the local Mental Health Trust, they knew NOTHING about MAP or the Priority Treatments for those individuals affected by Combat Related Mental Health illnesses and THEIR familes too.

An interesting letter and report recieved today from the CE of the SPVA, they tell me there is nothing wrong and cannot believe that the NHS doesn't know what is and has been in place for quiet sometime now, or COULD it be this damn government sitting ON the problem???????? :x :x :x
 
#16
Charlie, it wasn't meant to be personal mate. You obviously do the best you can for veterans judging by your efforts. Some of us are talking from experience and working in the job, we see veterans and their families every day. No harm to yourself Charlie.

Appropriate Care depends on veterans particular needs, signposting to appropriate agencies depends on their choices in line with the issues, the values of social care: respect, choice, empowerment and autonomy. What happens after these referrals depends on the efforts of the receiving agency. And that sometimes isn't helpful.

Very often people are put on long waiting lists, there is disorganisation, inertia. There is short shrift also from Job Centres, ignorant security people in particular.

When a mental health professional tells me from inside the job just what they think of the system, who am I to argue?
 
#17
I will now knock the RBL / SSAFA ect on block but until THEY have trained Mental Health professionals that can travel nationwide, they will never really comprhend the problems faced when attempting to access GP care and any secondary care the local PCT will offer given we come behing in the Dept of health priorities the BEM those in prison!

I am not saying they any less worthy, but you are told when you are in, whenh you pay your days pay every yearm there will be help out there if and when you need it!

STILL GP's know nothing about MAP Combat Stress or the Priority Care / Treatments that are ALL out there, so WE are told, in reality, you try getting those packages through your GP, so where the flying fcuk is the SPVA??

I have given up after SEVENTEEN years of trying to get ANY treatments, I make do with the bare minimum of prescribed meds.

A few month ago I attened a marorial service, he did his time in Iraq, his family referred to HIS ILLNESS, a year ago he took himself and his dog to the Humber Bridge and jumped off. Some THREE hundred + since the end of the Falklands after discharge have committed suicide, that was a short but bloody action, HOW many will end up the same who have served in the Sand Wars if as yet NOTHING nationally in being done to fix the holes.

Charities are fine for some things, but this has to be a NATIONAL support and care package headed up by the SPVA working in conjunction with the Dept of Health to ensure that all those who present get the right care as soon as possible and NO waiting, as they have served their country they should get the Priority Care they have been promised. They as you know DON'T!

IF you are being seen by Combat Stress, there are PCT's denying ex servivcemen and women care within the NHS system........ :x :x

RE gards
C
 
#18
It has to travel Top - Down. The responsibilities perhaps rest firmly and squarely with the people who send us into War.

I too would like to know just what the SPVA is doing and why the information and notices are not sent out to PCT's, on the issues and directives you rightly point out there Charlie.

Also; the medical profession needs to get off its backside and deal with the points you have often made here Charlie.

Idle posting on guv's websites and parading the Emperors New Clothes just isn't good enough is it. Doing nothing more, frankly, is disgusting and an insult to veterans. Where the hell is the SPVA these days?

And one more thing, all those over zealous developers, over developing their way up and down this country destroying centuries of local community and history, creating so many white elephants hardly fit for any purpose, why the flying fcuk are you all not building proper places of some use apart from LHA council tax revenue, incomers and big fat profits, but hardly ever any places for those who put themselves in danger and suffer for it afterwards?
 
#19
Hull PCT for some years now have had a service for those who present in East Yorks with Combat Related Mental Health illness BUT that's where it stops in HULL!

There have been SIX pilot schemes across the UK and one soon to open in Scotland, these pilots according to Twigg MP were planned for two years this is OVER two years ago, so does that say they can't afford, or can't be bothered.

The latter perhaps is neared the case, as they were supposed to be getting EU money for Mental Health illness in the Forces accorning to one of the Mod ministers three or so years ago. And lets face it, too many believe they have not got ANY Mental Health problems, even when they are lokking for support at the bottom of the bottle, before they throw thaqt empty across the room smashing a the bits hitting the wife and kids.

Unless you have faced the system, and been told by a gentleman of middle eastern origin that "You pull yourself together and get out of here you are wating my time", when already you have some SIX people dealing with your case, NONE who have any military knowledge of experiance to draw from, then you can loose faith in the so-called system THEY have in place.

IF it is the SPVA and even in the letter I have that is NOT clear, then the SPVA need to get of the FAT backsides and get the information passed to ALL veterans and NHS services across the UK. At least then the veteran has an OPTION, at present they don't.

If you would like a copy of this letter please forward your email address and I will scan and send it to you, with a line in it "I can't understand why the GP's and NHS trust DON'T KNOW"!

I do!!
 
#20
Charlie,

Worth pointing out that the guidance on Priority Treatment for veterans was very poorly promulgated by both the DH and MOD when it changed in 2007. I've just done a briefing paper for on of our directors reminding them of our responsibilities re this and also that some (though not all) GPs aren't aware of it. Our psychology dept is aware of it and does prioritise on the rare occasions when ex-service personnel are brought to their attention via the GP for PTSD, but the guidance certainly wasn't launched with any sort of fanfare.
 

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