Leaving the armed forces means leaving a community behind. It can be difficult to replicate the same sense of community in civilian life, which can leave many veterans feeling isolated. This can be a very serious issue and particularly for those veterans who have relocated while they were serving, meaning that are not living close to friends or family. Feeling isolated can be a big factor in someone suffering from low mood or depression.
Throughout the UK there are a growing number of Drop-In centres where any member of the armed forces community and their families can go for support, help and advice. To find out what exists in your area you can search the Association of ex-Service Drop-In Centres directory.
There may be groups local to you that run coffee mornings and other events that give you an opportunity to meet with other veterans and other members of your community.
One example is The Hub – Armed Forces Community Support which has started running virtual coffee mornings.
There is also The Armed Forces & Veteran’s Breakfast Clubs which arranges face to face meetups for veterans and serving personnel.
Volunteering can be a great way to meet people and get involved in your local community. You can find opportunities with:
- Step Together
- The Royal British Legion
- PTSD Resolution
- Combat Stress
- Walking with the Wounded
- Veterans Lifeline
You can also find a lot of support groups online through Facebook.