Watch: Veterans' recovery journeys give hope to others #IveBeenThere
Military veterans who have experienced mental ill-health are sharing their recovery journeys in series of videos to give hope to and inspire others.
The short films have been released by our specialist Op Courage mental health service to encourage more members of the armed forces community across the South Central region to ask for help.
Three people who have accessed the service talk about their experiences, what stops people seeking help and give their advice to other veterans who may be experiencing difficulties.
The films include views from our specialist team of staff, including our psychological therapists - and our peer support workers who are also veterans.
“I’ve experienced rocky patches as I go through my own recovery. And I am still going through my own recovery today." says Jon, a peer support worker, with the Op Courage NHS Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service who served in the armed forces for 22 years.
“The biggest step is realising you do need help. You aren’t on your own. There are people out there who can help and want to help. But we do need you to come forward and to seek help. And that is the big key."
"So please don’t suffer on your own. Pick up the phone, click on the links. Do whatever you need to do but I don’t think that anyone has ever regretted addressing their mental health.”
According to NHS figures from 2016, 50% of veterans who experience mental health issues never seek support and those that do have often live with their problems for years before asking for help.
Gemma’s Op Courage journey: "Treatment is hard but it's worth it"
Nick’s Op Courage journey: "I'm back to the real me, the old me, before I had problems"
Stuart’s Op Courage journey: "I can carry on a normal life, instead of the burden of PTSD"
Jon and Op Courage peer support: "The biggest step is realising you do need help. You aren't alone."
Find out more
People who have served in the UK armed forces can access our specialist veterans mental health and wellbeing service called Op Courage.
Find out more about the Op Courage NHS Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service for South Central or refer yourself for support (opens in new browser tab)
Mental Health Awareness Week takes place every May to raise awareness of mental health issues and combat the stigma and isolation people with these conditions often experience. The theme for 2022 is Loneliness #IveBeenThere
Find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week (opens in new browser tab)
It's also 40 years this month since the Falklands War took place in 1982 - this was the last armed conflict that Britain fought alone.
If you're having trouble viewing the videos or to see more of our film content:
Visit our YouTube channel (opens in new browser tab)