SSAFA Report into the The New Front Line

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#1

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
There was a piece on this on Five Live this morning.

It may have simply been the way the interview went but the argument seemed to be that those transferring from service life to civilian life in the course of their life choices/accidents (i.e. not because of operational trauma) need support and the country is failing to provide it. If that's the case, it's pretty feeble and it doesn't say much for the resilience of the individuals concerned.

Anyone who loses their job has a pretty catastrophic experience and changing careers generally involves serious personal upheaval whoever you are. By all means support the physically and mentally injured but I don't think it's right to play the services card all the time and ask for special treatment denied to the rest of society who go through similar experiences.

There's a lot of goodwill out there but the sort of bleating I heard on the radio this morning will have done nothing for the cause of those with a real need or for the reputation of service personnel.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
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#3
We also have to remember the people we are working with. Often those affected will have come in to the Services either straight from school or the dole. They will have little if any, experience of looking after themselves and during their 3-4 years in the Service will have had everything done for them.

Suddenly they have lost the comfort blanket of army etc life and are in civvy street with as much experience and knowledge of looking after themselves as when they joined just a few years before!

None of this is an excuse as we all have ultimate responsibility for ourselves. No not an excuse, but certainly a reason.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#4
None of those interviewed could recall being taught money management during their time in the Forces.

From the report, should people be taught this in the forces, are they taught it?
I certainly was taught at school in maths and home economics.
 
#5
None of those interviewed could recall being taught money management during their time in the Forces.

From the report, should people be taught this in the forces, are they taught it?
I certainly was taught at school in maths and home economics.
Waste of time and money. The majority of squaddies manage just fine, bellends won't learn no matter what you tell them.
The army isn't a substitute for the education sector.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#6
Waste of time and money. The majority of squaddies manage just fine, bellends won't learn no matter what you tell them.
The army isn't a substitute for the education sector.
Well that's what my thoughts were really. I was taught somethings at school but the majority nobody remembers or passes it in, things like buying a house, it's stressful but if you want a house...
You don't have to be super brain to set direct debits up after you've been paid or call a company for help if you're behind with bills.
 

Auld-Yin

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#7
I would suspect that many of those that struggle were admin vortexes when in and there is no reason to expect any different when they leave. Not all, though, some will have other issues which means they struggle outside the services.
 
#8
Well that's what my thoughts were really. I was taught somethings at school but the majority nobody remembers or passes it in, things like buying a house, it's stressful but if you want a house...
You don't have to be super brain to set direct debits up after you've been paid or call a company for help if you're behind with bills.
Reading the link it does appear that the majority of people would be thick as **** if they didn't join the army.
I'm surprised s SSAFA took people at their word when they said they had PTSD. Almost as if they wanted to sensationalise the story a bit.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#9
Reading the link it does appear that the majority of people would be thick as **** if they didn't join the army.
I'm surprised s SSAFA took people at their word when they said they had PTSD. Almost as if they wanted to sensationalise the story a bit.
How many think the grass is greener, they get pop star wages if they leave, pop up on here and ask about joining again.
I think times have changed where people were expected to fend for themselves now they expect the state to provide. We are now living with a government that once again expects people to fend for themselves, they'll have to get used to it.
 
#10
How many think the grass is greener, they get pop star wages if they leave, pop up on here and ask about joining again.
I think times have changed where people were expected to fend for themselves now they expect the state to provide. We are now living with a government that once again expects people to fend for themselves, they'll have to get used to it.
Not with charities trying to justify their existence they won't.
 
#12
#13
As a caseworker for both of the major service charities I have found that a considerable number of cases relate to employment on zero hour contracts as the services seem not to offer the skill set requirements to gain employment. Unemployment leads to matrimonial problems and single fit males have no chance of getting assistance from local authorities or housing associations.

Do you find hapless and the hopeless yes and they expect the charities to take over and organise their lives. Having the deepest sympathy for any ex. serviceman with PTSD there are quite a few who are playing the mental health card to extremes including one man who claimed his PTSD was caused by his sergeant shouting at him, he only served 31 days, I must admit to a sympathy shortfall on that case.

The basic problem is the army recruits from a sector of the population that may have not had a stable home life and not performed well in education and after leaving the structured military environment they do not prosper.
 
#14
Sorry old baldy, not a sobering read, but a bit of a whinge fest.

Accepting those with mental health problems that genuinely require help the rest need a good kick *********** from reality. A great many others get on with it when they leave.
As SSAFA say at the link: "It is important to remember that most successfully make the transition to civilian life. They do not need support and will never have to call on a charity for help. However, for some the transition is a lot harder, and it is amongst this section of the community that SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, does much of its work."
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
I have worked alongside, and helped a few ex service personnel, however I think that the military really needs to wake up and change the way that they discharge personnel, perhaps a staged and graded system ?
not all of them flounder, many adapt quite quickly and learn new tricks and often thrive in the new environment, but I really think that they should filter staff before leaving and look at their exact needs and guide them towards civi life
one of the biggest problems I encountered was that upon leaving and joining a company, they expected the same loyalties and honesty from their co workers, and expected management to honour their promises
I soon changed their way of thinking and gave them a healthy mistrust for the system they now worked in
I still keep in touch with many of them
I wrote a guide book and printed it out and handed it to them, at first many of them laughed, later on they realised that my non PC and fairly curt terms were indicative of the problem
I was going to issue some on my last firm, but some HR peeps had a quick look and said NNNOOOOO
 
#17
i think whats difficult reading that is that the report focuses on veterans already working with SSAFA, so these people are already experiencing some sort of hardship. its quite clear on this but a lot of people are going to read that, look at the figures and think they pertain to all veterans which only goes on to enforce this narrative of all veterans being victims. to serve is to some how be damaged, especially if that service was on operations.

this gets my back up but frankly its just something i need to get over as all this is about is trying to help people who for one reason or another are struggling. the fact that they have served just means they have an opportunity to get some help through avenues which might not be open to everyone.

some of these people will just be mutants who cant manage living in the real world, they'll talk about how the military institutionalised them but usually these are the same people who are skint 1 wk after payday and then eating out of bins when they were in. if they'd never joined they'd still be in the same position.

its okay to help these people as well as those we might deem more deserving as that's just how safety nets work but this idea that Joe Bloggs doesnt know how to pay a gas bill because he was in the army 10 years ago is nonsense.
 

oldbaldy

LE
Moderator
#18
As highlighted by others this was a survey taken by people who were/had been clients of SSAFA so it in no way reflects those, the vast majority, who leave & have a successful civilian career.
Very often the younger generation coming to see SSAFA, those under 40, are at the end of the road & there is no one reason why but, in my area, we are seeing an increasing number coming to us because of marriage breakup & that can lead to debt & homelessness. There is no doubt if they had come earlier the problems to be dealt with would not be as great but as we all know, ex-service think they are invincible & can do everything on their own, however there are a considerable number who can't. One of the busiest SSAFA Divisions is the London Homeless Division who work alongside Veterans Aid.
Then you get those who are medically discharged & you only have to look at some of the posts on this site to see how some of them are treated in the run up to & immediately post discharge.
Could Government do more? Most definitely, but then it has always been the case of Service Charities picking up Government failure, SSAFA was formed, 1885, because of failure to look after families, it's sister charity The Forces Help Society was formed, in 1899, because government failed to look after those discharged, TRBL grew from disillusionment with government of 'work & homes for heroes' after WW1, the list goes on. Even today we have discussions, on here, about whether the the Battleback & Recovery Centres should be funded by charity.
 
#19
Reading the link it does appear that the majority of people would be thick as **** if they didn't join the army.
I'm surprised s SSAFA took people at their word when they said they had PTSD. Almost as if they wanted to sensationalise the story a bit.
The criterion used by the researchers appears to be that the "veterans" had - yes according to themselves - been formally diagnosed with PTSD. There are obvious difficulties verifying such declarations. However, far from sensationalising the issue, the SSAFA report actually debunks the common myth that the majority of mental problems experienced by veterans involve PTSD. Only about a quarter of these "working age SSAFA veterans" - all of whom by definition have sought help for some kind of problem - say they have been formally diagnosed with PTSD.
 
#20
Then you get those who are medically discharged & you only have to look at some of the posts on this site to see how some of them are treated in the run up to & immediately post discharge.
.
The overwhelming majority are treated extremely well, with a huge depth and breadth of services on offerto them.The problem for some, however, is a complete inability to take ownership of their problems, or any iota of accountability for these same problems - they expect somebody else to do it all for them. These types are destined to fail, permanently, and should be offered the base minimum of assistance.
 

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