Who will help the heroes?
The tragic death by suicide of lance-corporal Dan Collins (The Times July 2013) highlights the lack of appropriate monitoring and psychological follow-up needed for these people exposed to trauma.
The statistics of suicide and self harm through drugs,alcohol or neglect may be under reported ,due to the lack of these people not seeking help or lack of recognition by referrals.
We may know where to get help for physical ailments? Could we say the same for psychological needs? The increase of suicide in our forces is a wake up call for all care professionals to ask the right questions,once ascertaining the person has been in the forces. A veteran does not have to have been involved in combat to suffer psychological problems, so women and cetain job roles may be overlooked. War may bring other traumas -by sight , sound, personal experience.I would encourage care professionals to find out what is in your locality for veterans and if there is nothing “why not”?
Prior to his suicide lance-corporal Collins made a dvd of his war experience ,the horror and trauma,viewed later by his family and colleagues.
Strategy is a key element in any organisation-and it would seem a key issue here.Psychological debriefing,mental health assessment and risk management are well documented researched strategies in dealing with psychological trauma. Trauma is not always evident so follow of this for all”heroes and heroines”after discharge from the forces is essential to help them back into civilian life and reduce further tragedy