Author Topic: Mental health first aid training for veterans and their families.  (Read 6528 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Veterans already have priority over people with similar need for NHS services.

So if, for example, a soldier needs to see a therapist and the need to see one arises out of his military service and there are two people in front of him, one person whose needs are more urgent and one person whose needs aren't but who happens to have been waiting longer, he jumps over the latter.  That's so even if it means queue jumping past hundreds of people or people who've been waiting a very long time.

So veterans do already get priority for many things.

I think it's great to get more help for forces personnel and civvies.  I just don't think that it is in any way doing down this extra help to say that the idea should be extended widely.

All soldiers learn CPR but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying to make sure as many civvies as possible learn it.  (Vinnie Jones, I love you, and so do all those who've been vinnied.)  The same, IMO, should go for this.
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Dic Penderyn

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I took and passed my first aiders course with the St. Johns ambulance  after I left the service. Any one who wishes to learn first aid has the opportunity to do so military or civilian.

When in the armed forces or since,  I have never been given priority over any one nor wished for it.  Except when hospitalized in a military hospital or when once hospitalized in a private hospital that had a ward run by the RAF in which  at least thirty to forty percent of the patients were civilian some of them NHS patients.

 
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Sunny Clouds

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I've never claimed veterans' priority for NHS treatment, although like you, I've been in a military hospital where there were also civvies.  I had surgery and was also on a rehab ward for a while and whilst everyone was nice, the facilities were rather done on the cheap.  I asked about physio and was told wearily but kindly by an NCO that there weren't any physios, he was just a PTI, but he was doing his best and there was an exercise bike if I'd like to use it. 

The saddest patient was a young teenager who'd been injured in the cadets.  She'd been there months and had tried to make a home out of her bedspace.  They'd put her in with older women recovering from knee surgery and the grannies were very kind to her, but I thought how difficult it must be to be so isolated from others her age.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Anyone who reads the 3am board will know why I am a latecomer to this thread.

It is a rollercoaster of a thread and some posts eg SunnyClouds have taught me more about veterans. It is good to see the strong swearing that was on the thread has been edited out.  >thumbsup<

It is good to see more provision being made for veterans mental health needs by the Government and armed forces charities. It is important for veterans to have helped geared to their specific type of experiences as members of the armed forces. I liked Sunny's points about how a life in the armed forces creates a certain mind set and expectation. It is also worth thinking about the type of people who join the armed forces and the impact of their childhood experiences on later life. Back when I was a teenage the choice for boys was college, YTS, the armed forces or unemployment. In my opinion economic deprivation can cause mental illness in a similar way that being in a war zone can eg domestic abuse, living with a violent alcoholic can cause PTSD.

If our Government was avoiding going to war in the first place fewer veterans would need help because of mental health issues and there would be more resources (money) for people suffering from either mental or physical illness/disability.


Dic Penderyn

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SunshineMeadows I was probably always going to join up at some point because for me it was something of a family tradition I actually left a pretty good job to do so.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

Sunshine Meadows

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Quote
SunshineMeadows I was probably always going to join up at some point because for me it was something of a family tradition I actually left a pretty good job to do so.

Family tradition can be a pressure and also come with support born from shared experience, I would be interested to read more.

One think I am wondering about is the way mental health issues can affect the confidence or otherwise one soldier might have for another member of the same platoon. Unlike a physical wound it is hard to prove a mental health issue is resolved. It seems to me the armed forces like to have absolutes and this is why attitudes to mental illness, homosexuality and women lag behind the rest of society.

Incidentally my Father was in the Navy just as World War II ended, his father fought in World War I and my brother was in the army, each were affected in different ways by what they saw and did.

Dic Penderyn

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From the original OP

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Do Ouchers consider it would be a good idea for civilians to be offered the same?

They are

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Internationally recognised in twenty one countries, the MHFA course teaches delegates over two days how to recognise the signs and symptoms of common mental health issues, provide help on a first aid basis and effectively signpost towards support services. To date, there are over 650 instructors in England who have delivered the MHFA course to over 55,000 people.

Since starting as a programme within the Department of Health, the formation of MHFA England as a Community Interest Company in September 2009 has ensured the independent sustainability of the MHFA programme here in England. MHFA England CIC is now a world leader, being the only MHFA programme to generate its own funds. It continues to provide updates to the MHFA course, develop new courses and train instructors across England. MHFA’s social objective is to increase the mental health literacy of the whole population, our aim being to train one in ten of every adult in England, thus increasing confidence, addressing stigma and improving the chances of early intervention.

Taken from here
http://www.mhfaengland.org/
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Yvette

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Thank you Dic for providing the information that Mental Health First Aid has been avaible to the whole of this country since September 2009.

Sunny Clouds

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Yes, it is available to the whole country.  However, the fees are high and what has been announced is funding for forces personnel/families to do the courses, whereas others have to pay a lot of money to do them.  In other words, the training is available to all, but the funding isn't.

Or are you aware of a current government initiative to pay the very high course fees for others to do the course?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)