Mental health issues can affect the family members of service personnel and veterans. This might be caused by the stresses associated with periods of separation or because family members often end up supporting a service member with their own mental health difficulties.
Where to go for treatment?
The majority of families of serving personnel, reservist and veterans will access their health care through the NHS. To get help or treatment for a mental health condition you should speak to your GP who will be able to tell you about what support services or treatments are available to you locally.
In some circumstances (such as a posting overseas) families will have access to healthcare services from the Ministry of Defence. If this is the case then treatment can be sought for any medical condition through Defence Primary Healthcare (DPHC) medical centres. You should speak to your Medical Officer who will assess you and refer you to the Department of Community Mental Health for further assessment and treatment if necessary.
Charities that support families:
- Help for Heroes provide support for veterans and their families dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and alcohol abuse.
- PTSD Resolution is a charity that helps veterans, reservists and families who are struggling to reintegrate into a normal work and family life because of trauma suffered during service in the armed forces. Their programme is community-based, with treatment and support provided locally through a nationwide network of 200 therapists.
- The Ripple Pond provides peer support to service families who are supporting service personnel and veterans.