Who Is Supposed To Pick Up The Pieces

Discussion in 'Charities and Welfare' started by Xenophon, Sep 26, 2006.

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  1. I don't suppose that many contributors to this site will be surprised by the contents of this article. Nevertheless it makes sobering reading and any opportunity to keep this scandal in the public domain is to be welcomed. I just wish more people were as scandalised as Lesley Garner seems to be.

    Who Is Supposed To Pick Up The Pieces
  2. good article, might be good for other soldiers to see, its completely correct about the one minute interview and a phone number. at this point all i wanted to do was get back home and spend my money i had saved. dont think i even thought for one minute anything i had seen would effect me. soldiers need to know where and how to seek help if needed.

    i do not think the support was drummed into us enough. this, of course has left soldiers isolated and witholding emotions bursting to get out.

    people change after tours.
  3. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    I was at a talk last Friday by given by Combat Stress. The picture painted is very much the same as the article. The talker also felt that large problems were being stored for the future as the infrastructure is not sufficiently robust to take the large numbers they fell will need help. However I know the COC is currently looking into how those coming back can be brought back gently rather than in the 'Stan one day & out for a pint with civvie mates the next who have no idea.
    Research shows the RMs who sailed back from the Falklands & therefore had a period of relaxing with likeminded had far fewer problems than the Paras who flew back and encountered the problems described above.

    And as the poor sods in the TA.. In the TA Forum some are complaining about being passed over for promtion, that, in the long term, could be the least of their problems.
  4. A rage inducing article :evil:
  5. Quite.

    And just what did happen to MOD's plan to provide military psych treatment for TA personnel?

    Why are people still falling through the gaps in the after-care system?

    Why are our ill and injured servicemen forced to rely upon charities (who do an excellent job) for support they should be provided with as of right?
  6. Good point, VB. 'The system' just cannot cope with TA. There is no after-care and the entire process is designed to pass TA back through the system as quickly as possible without any regard for the long-term implications. Regardless of whether you have a a physical or emotional injury, once back in civvy-street you become someone else's problem and the MOD isn't interested.
  7. Yes, RedSquirrel, you are right. The problem really kicks in when as a "civvy" you get referred back to the military for help, or people aren't in the loop.

    When I explained to local SSAFA rep the situation that I had encountered, he flatly denied that it had happened like that, which was incredible, given that items were appearing in the media and hundreds of posts on ARRSE on the subject. To be fair, this was one man, so I don't hold SSAFA responsible, and still have the utmost respect for the work which their' volunteers and others working in this area do. But, he was so badly briefed on how ops had been conducted recently, as to be useless - as an easy example, he informed me, that every reservist who had been mobilised for TELIC since early 2003 had received two months notice.

    It can't surprise anyone that the media is now chasing every story. As much as the MOD does a wonderful smokescreen job and tries to paint over the cracks, if the treasury doesn't invest funds in both the NHS and MOD to properly care for our military personnel, this will go on forever more. I also think that the CoC has been absolutely spineless in fighting the corner for aftercare - possibly too afraid to ruffle feathers and risk that lucrative position in the city when they retire. Either way, the military families will continue to break up, lose careers and get abandoned, all because the government doesn't support it's military. Thanks Tone.
  8. This is just an idle thought that came to me when pondering exactly what has changed in the way we handle post-op troops since WW2 or Korea.
    Many people have pointed out that the wierdest bit of demobilisation (and I use the TA example here as it seems to me to be the most extreme) is patrolling the sandpit in the morning and sipping a cuppa at home in blighty the same evening. Not everyone does this, I grant you, for most units have a period of decompression but it rarely lasts more than a few days.

    So how about reintroducing the troopship? Stickybomb senior spent six weeks on one between Korea and Southampton in the fifties. Plenty of time to unwind, discuss and 'file' the experiences with people who'd been there too, controlled environment, 'most luxuriant moustache' growing competitions, plenty of scoff, alcohol etc.

    Aren't we missing a trick by flying people back?
  9. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Old Baldy said:
    Exactly my point.
    Rather than a ship I understand there is a thought to having troops stage through Cyprus. However that is also fraught with problems. No doubt senior officers & WOs will fly their families out. Thought has also been given having a cooling off of a couple of weeks in barracks in the UK but the same problem as with Cyprus would no doubt apply. The rules would only apply to the Jnr ranks.
  10. Hi all,

    Is there any MP's fighting this corner at the moment??

    There has been alot of posts on this topic and its concerning to see that there are alot of guys out there that seem to be suffering so badly!

    I am TA and have been to the Sandpit and I struggled when I got back and the more I read about this the more angry I get as nothing seems to be getting done!

  11. I think this is another reason why we need BAFF. I hate to use the "Vietnam" example but those who served there (both Aussie and Septics) only ever really got the support and help they needed once a credible and organised body had been formed that could represent their interests at the highest level, but outside established military/political channels.

    It makes me so sad and angry that nothing is being done to help those who have served and suffered. Like I have said before keep an eye on your mates guys, we shall look after ourselves like we always do.
  12. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

  13. oldbaldy,

    Thankyou, did'nt think any of them cared!
  14. Dear All

    On the subject of lack of longer term support - I agree with you all, however:

    I do get a bit depressed about the perception that **** all is done for the guys on the ground and post Operation. In the Defence Mental Health Services we try to deploy at least one Community Psychiatric Nurse (often more) with every deploying formation above a certain size. We are there to provide mental health support to those who do not respond to the CoCs best efforts and to give advice where necessary. Agreed that the quality of the service is dictated by the individual(s) deploying, but this is the same in any deployed formation.

    We have 14 sizeable Departments of Community Mental Health in the UK and a hatful in BFG each seeing 4-800 new referrals each year. They will see urgent cases either immediately or within 24 hours.

    The RAF supply Mental Health aeromed for those requiring evacuation out of theatre and ongoing care in the home base.

    We have access to the Priory hospital for those who need in-patient care. They will admit within 4 hours on request. This is a platinum standard service by NHS standards.

    It irks me a bit (actually a lot) to see our efforts roundly trashed by the media and also serving folk who clearly do not know what is available.

    There are problems with the service that we try to address, but by NHS standards, it is not bad.

    We have been instructed to pick up mobilised TA and recently mobilised Reservists with effect from Oct 06 and have yet to work out the final form of the service. So, you are all correct in saying that the service to demobilised TA/Reservists is poor (nearly non-existent), but the same is not so for serving soldiers.

    It is easy to produce the exception that proves the rule, but equally, if medical in confidence considerations permitted, we in the Defence Mental Health service could tell of umpteen people who have been successfully rehabilitated/helped and serve on.

    What I do feel is that Veterans get a raw deal in our society and that we have a broad social responsibility to them that is currently lacking.

    Rant over.
  15. oldbaldy

    oldbaldy LE Moderator Good Egg (charities)
    1. Battlefield Tours

    Problem is Ratched, you are taking about those regulars who are serving and only those who seek help will be able to avail themselves of the services you describe.
    In a recent interview Chris Ryan tells how after he was back in the UK he was told by his COC to tell the shrinks, who were to interview him, that everything was OK when it wasn't. That cost him a lot of things including his marraige.
    As long as there is a stigma for those serving in seeking help, they will not & therefore we will continue with the mess & the press will contine to highlight it.
    And Combat Stress will be ever busier looking after Vets.