July update: FORCES for CHANGE reaches Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Torfaen, Cardiff, Wrexham and Powys!

In July the FORCES for CHANGE campaign trail across Wales continued with events in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport, Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Torfaen, Cardiff, Wrexham and Powys!

Find out when there’s a campaign event near you

 

We also caught up with Beth, a third generation armed forces veteran and second generation emergency services veteran who is currently writing a PhD on veterans’ health, who told us:

“One of the biggest gaps is that there is nowhere in Wales for acute services. As a nurse I’ve seen veterans come into A&E that needed desperate help – they’re on the verge of committing suicide, or have actually tried and failed – and they are being left in A&E for 8-12 hours without any support, having to wait for crisis teams.

“I firmly believe from my nursing experiences, my veteran experiences and my academic research experience that we desperately need a Tier 4 recovery model mental health centre for veterans.”

Watch our interview with Beth here…

 

  • Meet the panel!

Our Forces for Change campaign is headed by an expert panel of armed forces and blue light service veterans who bring a wealth of experience and insight to leading the campaign:-

Rebekah Burns, Youth & Mentoring Manager at Bipolar UK, grew up on various military bases, having both parents in the forces. Many years later Rebekah became a ‘forces wife’ and lived off base. Rebekah experienced depression and anxiety in her youth, and later discovered she had PTSD.

Ant Metcalfe served for with 1st Royal Tank Regiment from 1994 until 2006 and saw active service in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan as well as postings in UK and Germany. After leaving the armed forces he moved into a career with voluntary sector in Wales, including as Programme Manager of Time to Change Wales, taking up post as Area Manager for The Royal British Legion in summer 2016.

Frank Kitt is a former police officer with experience of anxiety and depression who is currently working on a Hafal initiative to improve access to talking therapies and is a member of the Hafal Expert Leadership Panel (HELP). Frank has also been an active anti-stigma campaigner with Time to Change Wales, delivering talks to organisations across Wales in order to change attitudes to mental illness.

Tina Jones, a Peer Mentor at the new Gellinudd Recovery Centre, served for 12 years in the Royal Logistic Corps from 1997 to 2009. Tina saw active service in the Balkans as well as postings in Germany and the UK. After being medically discharged from the Armed Forces she moved into a period of uncertainty and took up roles as a volunteer for various charities as well as jumping from job to job looking for meaningful work. She eventually found a role within Time to Change Wales and from there has gone from strength to strength, becoming actively involved in campaigning against the stigmatisation of mental health conditions within the community. She continues on her road to recovery with schizoaffective disorder.

Click here to contact the panel

 

  • New guide announced

Earlier this summer it was announced that a new project to support aged veterans had received funding from the Royal British Legion’s Aged Veterans Fund. The new project will be delivered by Kaleidoscope, Change Step and Hafal – and will see Hafal producing a new mental health and wellbeing guide for aged veterans. We look forward to updating you on this project later in the year…

For the latest updates on the campaign, and to get involved, please visit forcesforchange.wales

Matt Pearce