Combat Stress was founded in 1919 to care for the shell-shocked victims of the First World War. Today, we are the UK's leading military charity specialising in the mental health of ex-Service men and women. We’re providing vital support and treatment to over 4,800 mentally wounded Veterans across the UK from the British Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy – many of whose mental health conditions are complex and long-term in nature.
We provide a lifeline to Veterans of all ages – our youngest Veteran is only 20 years old and our oldest is 101. We make a massive difference to the quality of their and their families’ lives.
In our experience, Veterans wait, on average, 13.1 years from leaving the Armed Forces before coming to Combat Stress for help. This is too long to suffer and this delay often leads to additional mental health problems, social problems and family breakdown. We are trying to reduce this timelag by addressing:
- The lack of education and understanding about Veterans’ mental health issues;
- The fear of stigma and discrimination that surrounds Veterans’ mental health; and
- The isolation of Veterans with wounded minds who feel alone in their suffering and are too ashamed or embarrassed to seek help.