Soldier Mag - Stamping out the Stigma

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Zarathustra, Jun 21, 2011.

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  1. Haven't seen this posted anywhere and I'm too lazy to search so tough.

    While recently going about my normal daily routine of dodging work I was hiding in the back of a Landrover reading this months Solder Mag and came across this article Soldier - Stamping out the Stigma

    This got my interest and not just because I know the bloke being interviewed.

    It got me thinking about if we can ever "stamp out the stigma" of mental health problems? While the article is a good way to get the message out there, I personally feel that it's too little too late. There'll be plenty of people on here who have mates who spend every night getting pissed either in the mess or else where or blokes who go off the rails after a tour or who turn to drugs.

    Is this stigma something that people think the Army will always suffer from, or will it gradually disappear as the more "old school" leave and the blokes who've had dealings with mental illness (either their own or through a friend) move into more senior positions?
  2. Sorry, cannot really agree on the Old School bit, even back when i had my unhappy day, their were a lot of switched on people,an a lot more understanding. Yes its improved but thats through lessons learned rather than Old School mentality.

    Forget a lot of cold war/old school posturing on here, thats what it is,just wind.
  3. chrisg46

    chrisg46 LE Book Reviewer

    I think (hope) it will become treated the same as any other physical injury - there will always be a level of scepticism that someone is pulling a fast one but compared to attitudes 90 years ago ("Sir, i'm terrified, i dont want to charge towards the machine guns anymore", "thats alright son, here, lean against this wall and put a blindfold on so you cant see the scary things anymore"), the army, and its soldiers are more open to mental health issues than 20 years ago.
    That said, the hardest part of any treatment is getting the patient to accept that there might be a problem. The fear of being "jack" is the same for mental problems as well as physical.
  4. Don't get me wrong, we have some good blokes, LE Officers seem to be particularly switched on, but when you've been in the Army since the 70s you probably get to see for fair share of things.

    My experience is of the majority of people not having a clue and switching to the mentality of because there's no visible injury or they don't know the ins and outs of it that there's nothing wrong with you and you should "get over it" or as one friend said to me "what have you got to be depressed about?"

    I'd be interested in other experiences to see if I've just been unlucky or if it is more wide spread.
  5. Not wishing to derail a pertinent subject for discussion but, please, can we put this into perspective? The British Army, by the end of 1918 was nearly 4 million strong: that's 4 000 000, in old money. Now, of that number either 304 or 306 (depending on whose figures you believe) were executed -Shot at Dawn - the bulk of the offences being desertion or cowardice. Of that number, many were also charged with other crimes (looting, murder, etc).

    As I said, I hope this does not swerve off onto a typical ARRSE tangent about the rights and wrongs of the disciplinary measures of almost a hundred years ago: but, for Crissake, lets lose this myth that serried ranks of toms, in files of threes, were beating a steady path to the execution ground from dawn to dusk for 4 years.

    *climbs down of soapbox*

    I thang yeow.
  6. No one else got anything they'd like to add?
  7. Not really.
  8. Fair enough, just thought I'd make sure, wouldn't want people to feel left out now would we?

  9. 20 years ago? QEMH had ward 13 over 30 years ago had to visit a few mates there I think your analogy would have read better if you had put 40-60 years ago. your actual point though is a good one
  10. I think it's one thing having dedicated Wards for people with mental health issues, but people being open about them and getting past the stigma is another issue all together.

    Afterall, not everyone needs to be admitted to a ward, I know from personal experience that friends and the CoC are not always understanding as they, sometimes, see people going sick with/trying to get medical help for mental health issues as bluffing their ticket, a bit like the "non-specific back pain".
  11. What? Can you elucidate what you mean by cold war / old school posturing you arrogant ****?

    I can tell you that watching the Soviet army launching itself against the German border 3 times a day and turning away at the last possible moment for weeks on end, wasn't pleasant. Especially since to the right of me were hi-fiving black yanks on cocaine, man. And to the left of me were Dutch troops wearing hair nets and smoking dope. Naturally we had no cam paint and so my bridgelayer was cammed up with mud, I had 25 rounds of ammo for my LMG and no fire orders. We lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation at a moments notice. Oh yes our lives would be sacrificed to give the politicians 3 days in which to negotiate something. We lived like that until the wall came down. No wonder we partied like there was no tomorrow when off duty. Local leave, BTW, meant staying within a certain distance of the camp. The lucky few got to go home for a week or two. It wasn't arduous fighting day to day. It was a pain in the arse with the constant threat of being fucked by superior forces for years on end. No need to be disparaging about it in the aftermath.
    • Like Like x 4
  12. So yes or no to a Cold War Medal :wink:
  13. I might be wrong but I'm fairly sure Scarletto is/was a "cold war warrior".
  14. No. We are British, not some central American banana republic.
  15. I don't care if he is a Captain in the Spetsnaz.