Many things have changed since Armistice Day 100 years ago, but the impact of trauma isn't one of them.
Founded shortly after the First World War, Combat Stress set out to help servicemen with shell shock. One hundred years on and our work to help veterans and change attitudes towards mental health is as important as ever.
Without specialist help, many veterans struggle with anxiety, anger and depression. Some turn to alcohol, drugs and even suicide. Too often, the trauma rips through every aspect of a veteran’s life – destroying relationships and tearing families apart.
Our treatment not only transforms lives, it saves them too.
Last year our Helpline handled over 12,000 calls – 24% more than in 2016. But recent reductions in our NHS funding means that more than ever we must rely upon voluntary support to meet this growing demand.
A gift of £22 could fund an hour of support on our Helpline, so more veterans can start receiving the life-changing treatment they need.
It doesn’t matter which conflict veterans are returning home from – for some, the psychological impact of war can be devastating. We want to be there for every veteran who needs our help, but we need your help to make it happen.
"I struggled with civilian life from the start."
After serving in the Army for 18 years, Colin found the transition to civilian life almost impossible. Distraught, unable to communicate with his family and with nowhere to turn, he tried to take his own life.
"I planned it, where I was going to do it, how I was going to do it. I pulled my wallet out, and I don't know why - people always say it was a sign, but the Combat Stress card fell out and I just went: 'You know what, I have to phone these people.'"
"Dad's a different person."
Laura, Colin's daughter, says she will never forget what Combat Stress has done for her dad.
"He used to be very into himself, he wouldn't have spoken to anybody. We wouldn't hear from him for days, and when we did it was just a very plain, 'I'm okay.'
"Back then, we didn't know what was wrong, so we just thought that was him, that was our dad. But now he's completely different, and we're still young enough to enjoy him."