NEW research published by SSAFA has revealed that fewer than 1 per cent of the personnel currently serving in the UK’s Armed Forces or veterans would seek help from a charity if they found themselves in need.

SSAFA, the national tri-Service military charity which has provided support to personnel, veterans and their families for more than 130 years, has revealed that those who are serving and who have served in our Armed Forces can find it extremely challenging to admit that they have a problem and cannot cope.

When asked why they would delay asking for help, more than half (58 per cent) of respondents felt that they should be equipped to deal with problems themselves, rather than rely on others. A further third of respondents (32.3 per cent) indicated that they didn’t feel it was in their character to ask for help.

More than 40 per cent (42 per cent) said that they would only acknowledge that they have a problem and come forward for help if they felt that their life would otherwise be at risk, indicating that they are being pushed to the brink before considering seeking support.

Got your back

Off the back of the survey’s concerning results, SSAFA has launched the “Got Your Back” campaign, which aims to address the “grin and bear it” mentality which remains strong within the Armed Forces community. Although the majority of veterans transition and do well in subsequent civilian careers and life, the campaign is targeting those who struggle, asking them not to let their pride stand in the way of asking for help.

To officially launch the campaign, SSAFA has teamed up a host of the UK’s best known television and sports personalities including Luke Pasqualino, Melanie Sykes, Nigel Benn, Stephen Graham, Gemma Atkinson, Jorgie Porter and Will Satch to create powerful visual representations of support for the Armed Forces, shot by leading photographer Nicky Johnston.

Commenting on the launch of the campaign, former boxing world champion and Service veteran Nigel Benn said: “Having served in the Army, I’ve seen first-hand the problems that some people face when they leave the Forces and have to go it alone.

“It’s a really difficult situation to be in, you might be struggling but it’s so hard to hold your hands up and ask for help, especially when you’ve been trained to get on with the job.

“If you’re in the Forces or a veteran or family member finding it tough to cope, please get in touch with SSAFA, they have your back.”

Contact SSAFA’s Forcesline on 0800 731 4880 or via email at www.ssafa.org.uk/gotyourback

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