The important role of family and friends: how Hidden Wounds can help

Thursday 12 July 2018

The family and friends of Veterans and Serving Personnel are often the first to recognise when their loved one might be struggling with their mental wellbeing and can also be a great source of support. Evidence shows that people with mental health problems find encouragement from family and friends to be a crucial motivator for seeking treatment(1,2).

However, it can be difficult to know where to start with helping someone that you are so close to, or what support would be best for them. If the veteran has been struggling for a while, family and friends can begin to feel burdened and their relationship and own wellbeing can be left in a vulnerable position.

There are an estimated 66,090 UK Armed Forces personnel who served between 1991-2014 who are currently, or may in the future, suffer from health problems, including common wellbeing issues such as low mood and alcohol misuse(3). This means that there may be a huge number of family and friends who are worried about their Armed Forces loved one’s wellbeing or are struggling to cope with their problems.

Help for Heroes’ Hidden Wounds service offers free, confidential programmes with trained experts, designed to help both veterans and their families. They can provide support with common issues such as low mood, anxiety, anger and drinking. Family and friends can learn ways to better communicate and support their veteran and improve their own wellbeing at the same time.

It doesn’t matter how big or small the issue; if you have noticed worrying changes in your loved one recently, or if things have not been right for some time, contact Hidden Wounds today for a friendly chat. Changes could include differences in mood, avoiding social events, drinking more than usual, eating more or less than normal or changes in sleep habits.

We’re here to support you.

Get in touch with Hidden Wounds

References:

  1. Cusack, J., Deane, F. P., Wilson, C. J., & Ciarrochi, J. (2004). Who influence men to go to therapy? Reports from men attending psychological services. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, 26(3), 271-283.

  2. Downs, M. F., & Eisenberg, D. (2012). Help seeking and treatment use among suicidal college students. Journal of American College Health, 60(2), 104-114.

  3. Diehle, J. & Greenberg, N. (2015). Counting the costs. Report for Help for Heroes, retrieved from: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/publications/assetfiles/2015/Diehle2015.pdf

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