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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 July, 2005, 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK
Help for serving personnel
Below is a list of organisations who may be able to offer support and advice to serving members of the armed forces who are concerned about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and combat stress.

DEFENSE MEDICAL SERVICES

Website:

Who are they?

If you are currently a serving member

of the Armed Forces then your medical care is the responsibility of the Defence Medical Services.

How can they help?

Community-based psychiatry is available to every military unit, and to every Service person, across the UK. The MOD has also awarded a contract for in-patient care to the private Priory Group, to which serving personnel diagnosed with PTSD can be referred for treatment.

Contact

Serving members of the Armed Forces should notify their next Senior Officer if they are experiencing health difficulties, or should report to sick parade at the nearest Medical Centre.

See alsoThe Royal Army Chaplains Department -

THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION

Website:

Who are they?

The Legion was founded in 1921, as a voice to support the ex-Service community, but today its welfare work is still under increasing demand. The Royal British Legion provides financial, social and emotional support to all those who have served and are currently serving in the Armed Forces, as well as their dependants. Anyone who has served in the forces for 7 days or more is eligible for help, as well as TA's, Reservists and men and women who served with the Mercantile Marine afloat in hostile waters.

Contact:

Legionline on 08457 725 725 (all calls charged at local rates)

NGVFA (National Gulf Veterans and Families Association)

Website:

Who are they?

The NGVFA is a national charity providing help and advice on service- related ill health. It is the leading support organisation for Servicemen and Women of Gulf War OP Granby 1991 and The Iraq War OP Telic. NGVFA are entirely independent of the Ministry of Defence.

How can they help serving personnel?

NGVFA deal directly with former and serving servicemen and women suffering PTSD, depression, and combat related ill health. They also advise on health and pension matters, and average approximately 100 calls per week from veterans of both Gulf wars seeking information and support. NGVFA can provide introductions to legal advisors and medical officers Dr Nigel Gravestone RAMC and Dr Derek Hall Wing Commander RAF (Retd). They run support groups for partners and families of PTSD sufferers.

NGVFA recommends that if you are still serving and experiencing health problems, you must notify your next senior Officer, or attend sick parade at your medical station/Medical Centre. However, if you are at all concerned the NGVFA 24hr help line is available for confidential and free advice.

Contact

Office: (01482) 808730 24 Hr Helpline: (01482) 833812 Email: ngvfa@aol.com

SSAFA

Website:

Who are they?

SSAFA is the Soldiers', Sailors', Airmen and Families Association - a national charity helping serving and ex-Service men, women and their families, including widows and widowers in need. Eligibility for help is one day's paid service in any of HM forces and National Service, and those who completed a period of satisfactory service in the Reserves.

How can they help?

SSAFA Forces Help can assist serving personnel through their Confidential Support Line or through individual support via its social work and personal support staff. The Confidential Support line is free from landlines and if people call from a mobile they will be rung back. The line is open from 1030 - 2230 (UK local time) every day, including Christmas Day. Free phone lines operate from Germany, Cyprus and the UK.

ContactFrom the UK (Main Line): 0800 731 4880
From Germany: 0800 1827 395
From Cyprus: 800 91065
From the Falkand Islands # 6111
From anywhere in the world (Call-back) +44 (0)1980 630854
Email - Confidential email accesible via the SAFFA Website

ASSIST

Website:

Who are they?

Charity offering support, understanding and counselling to PTSD sufferers.

How can they help serving personnel?

Support Helpline (0)1788 560800

THE SAMARITANS

Website:

Who are they?

Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

How can they help?

Callers can contact Samaritans by telephone, letter, e-mail and minicom. The commitment to making these means of access available 24 hours a day will be maintained by all branches (except Festival and Correspondence branches).

Callers can visit a branch for face-to-face support (except Correspondence branch). Each branch will advertise when they are available for face-to-face support

Samaritans' aim is to ensure that telephone and minicom callers are not kept waiting for a response and that as many as possible get through first time.

Contact:

In the UK dial 08457 90 90 90
In the Republic of Ireland dial 1850 60 90 90


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