TA suffer more than Regulars after deployment

OldSnowy

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#1
Just seen this on the BBC -

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4531567.stm

"Half of all Iraq war veterans seeking help for mental illness are Territorial Army soldiers, despite making up only 10% of deployments, a charity says.
Combat Stress blamed a rise in those seeking help partly on a shortage of NHS skills and a lack of MoD support.

Some 25 reservists currently account for 50% of its referrals, it says.

The government said trained psychiatric staff were available to all service personnel, but added just 1% of Iraq veterans have suffered mental illness.

Reserve forces received exactly the same treatment while deployed as their regular counterparts, it added. "

Ah, but what support is available after Demob? Sod all, in my experience, excepty for the Combat Stress charity, and a sympathetic GP - if you're lucky.

So, if anyone is looking for a good charity to support this year, especially in the TA, this is the one.
 
#2
OldSnowy said:
So, if anyone is looking for a good charity to support this year, especially in the TA, this is the one.
Well said, I'd never heard of the charity before - wonder how many other TA had heard of it (i.e. the problem could be far worse)
 
#3
When I was demobbed I seem to remember 'give us your kit back, fill in these forms, clean your gun and fcuk off'

Then I got pi$$ed for 6 weeks
 
#4
Maybe after de-mob they should give you a couple of months work back at your TA unit to de-stress you, then give you your 6 weeks leave.

I know of one guy who was in Basra one day and sitting on his armchair at home the following evening. Bit of a culture shock for the poor bugger.
 
#5
devilish said:
Maybe after de-mob they should give you a couple of months work back at your TA unit to de-stress you, then give you your 6 weeks leave.

I know of one guy who was in Basra one day and sitting on his armchair at home the following evening. Bit of a culture shock for the poor bugger.
I know the feeling, in the sand one minute, following day pi$$ing about at chilwell then freaking out at Victoria station cos I hadn't seen that many people for 3 months!
 
#6
Do reserve forces have easy access to counsellors / chaplains on de-mob?

I'm quite lucky - if I ever get mobilised my mum's a counsellor and she has a LARGE network of counsellors which I could see (If I needed to).

Hasn't someone taken the initiative and tried to set-up a support network for reserve-forces. Maybe pull together a database of counsellors willing to offer pro-bono work to members back from operational tours??

If so, it sounds like something which I could try and do (On a small scale at least)...
 
#7
hogspawn wrote:

"When I was demobbed I seem to remember 'give us your kit back, fill in these forms, clean your gun and fcuk off'"

I got basically the same as well as " YOUR UNIT WILL HOST A WWEKEND LATER (8-12 WEEKS). TO FOLLOW UP ANY ISSUES REGARDING YOUR DEPLOYMENT. 11 MONTHS LATER STILL NO WEEKEND AND NOW THEY WANT MORE GUYS FOR ANOTHER TELIC......
 
#8
Formed regular units will have a week(ish) decompression period in barracks before being sent on POTL in order to let the dust settle, TA are "supposed" to have a similar decompression/ debbriefing weekend within a finite period. Doesn't occur that often to my knowledge..
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#9
hogspawn said:
I know the feeling, in the sand one minute, following day pi$$ing about at chilwell then freaking out at Victoria station cos I hadn't seen that many people for 3 months!
It actually felt very odd going into town and seeing loads of people. I found the sense of dislocation quite shocking - for the first week back I didn't know where the f**k I was. The tempo went from 150% to about 20% in a matter of hours after leaving theatre.

After a week of monging it at home and being fairly unpleasant I was lucky enough to go on a career course - That helped enormously - back in the Green suit and I could decompress. That was an absolute god send.

To be honest, I'm still having sleep problems. I find running and phys helps.
 
#10
devilish no and **** no .spent a week in germany before demob doing ****
all ******* signallers did it help did it **** might have been somepoint if there
had been something to do or if we had had a harrowing tour as it was just
a another chance for the regular army to **** us around pointlessly In and out of chillwell fast as possible .By the time i got to chillwell army had broken me so would have done anything signed anything just to get home .Your not going to realise if you have a problem till you get home and in normal life .
trying to identify psychatric problems among blokes who are itiching to go home is pointless.Combat stress are probably best people to talk too
a civi counsellor would probably get a slap (imho a lot of them deserve one anyway)
 
#11
In the first Gulf war we where all handed a letter which stated " You have all done well no matter what your roll was and you should feel proud of your achievements. You worked hard and if you feel down or depressed at any time be secure in the knowledge that your hard work was greatly appretiated" or words to that effect.

Pretty shit wasn't it?
 
#12
anyone else find themselves alert all the time on return? or constantly awating something to happen? like the next task/incident etc.

or am I just a freak :twisted:
 
#13
I drove the car with Mrs Stabtastic standing up in the back through sunroof shouting 'contact right' for a few months after I came back.

Oh, and I washed the same socks, shirt and keks in a bucket in my room for a while before I remembered I had a wardrobe and a washing machine...
 
#14
Car alarms were annoying.....one second on, one second off.

Having stealth w@nks

Crapping in your front garden and burying it
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#15
hogspawn said:
anyone else find themselves alert all the time on return? or constantly awating something to happen? like the next task/incident etc.

or am I just a freak :twisted:
Nope- first night back in my own pit I was up at 03:00 to prepare for the morning G3 update conference call!

Mrs Foz eventually weaned me off using the solar shower in the back garden and back to the joys of working indoor plumbing
 

OldSnowy

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#16
Yep, I have had Soldiers come back with a nameless R*M* Bn, after having served with them for six months. Bn stayed on for a week at their Barracks, to get together with their Families in a structured way, and to wind down (get pissed, etc.). My TA soldiers were sent to Chilwell, got back home that evening.

No doubt they wanted that at the time - it just probably isn't the best way to do things.

Support for the TA on return is down to the TA Units, the NHS, and Charities.

Thanks again, Mr Blair & Mr Hoon, and just make sure we get the Telic Medals before we get called up again, please (No-one here has got theirs for Telic 1 or 2 yet).
 
#17
When i returned after telic 2 my GP informed my CO of my problems at adjusting back into civvie street and possible P.T.S.D. and my CO's reply was "IF WE WANT YOUR OPPINION WE WILL ASK FOR IT". After eight months of constant nagging, i finaly got to see a doctor at catterick and he said it was down to me being married with two kids .so work that one out :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
 

OldSnowy

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#18
I-Helper -

Where's the link, please?

I'd be most interested, and I know of a few others as well.

Trouble with the 8-12 week thing, is it wasn't there for the first few TELICs, which is when most people went.
 
#19
Combat Stress clinical director Lee Skelton said the part-time soldiers were taking on roles they had not trained for.
similar quote from another news source:
Leigh Skelton, director of clinical services for Combat Stress, said the TA was playing a far bigger role than it used to in war and suggested its troops -- civilians who usually only train a few weeks each year -- were not sufficiently prepared.
I doubt that the question of preparation or lack of it is the biggest factor in combat stress amongst the reserve forces.

I am not suggesting that it is never a factor. Feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness, for example, can strike anybody after a crisis. I have seen this happen to experienced Regulars who had in fact performed superbly. In fact, I admit to being affected by such feelings myself about a period in which objectively I know I did my duty and more.

Most people with the support of military discipline and unit cohesion do, however, adapt remarkably to doing and experiencing extraordinary things. Our predecessors who "heard the pipes at Alamein" were indeed trained to a very high standard, but most had never seen action before.

If Reserve Forces members returned from Iraq are reporting problems in such numbers, I would agree with other comments that a key factor is likely to be the culture shock of returning to life amongst civilians who did not share the experience. If some of your experiences in theatre were positive, there can also be an element of "grief" for a time when you never felt more alive, never closer to those around you.

At least for those returning at the end of the much worse conflict of WW2 there were others who had gone through similar experiences: there was no individual or family which had not been affected by the War in one way or another. People did remarkably well in getting on with their lives, but some found an outlet in hard drinking, pranks, and eccentric behaviour which would not be tolerated in today's PC society. Too many marriages did not survive.

And look at the success of the numerous campaign associations formed after the War; after 60 years, still proudly on parade at our local VE Day commemoration which I took part in on Sunday.
 
#20
It was those car horn alarms that got me going when I first came back. Still dont like it when we do NBC drills (which is a bit of a b*gger considering the unit I'm in!)

With this and the recent report in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,11816,1475959,00.html

even our beloved govt has got to start waking up and realising that you can't pick up the TA and send them to war one day and then drop them and ignore them totally the next day. Welfare issues are equally as important for us as the regs!

Unfortunately, organising all these 'soft' issues takes money and commitment so I cant see it happening.

I'm just glad I stayed in the TA after we got back. Reckon it's harder if you leave straight away. At least I still get to 'decompress' over the long term on drill nights and weekends!
 

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