THE free SSAFA Forcesline helpline plans to launch a pilot web chat for younger serving personnel and veterans in need of support.

The new initiative follows research that revealed that only eight per cent of calls to Forcesline in the first half of 2019 were made by someone under the age of 30. 

The lack of queries from younger people doesn’t mean that they don’t need help, as research has found that 89 per cent of under-30s admitted they needed support during or after their military career.

Younger veterans will be able to simply send a message to a Forcesline advisor and won’t need to talk to someone over the phone to ask for help. 

Overall, 39 per cent of 16-to-24-year-olds have said they would prefer to use text or web chat to talk about their issues than a phone call, compared with only one-in-10 over-55s.

Forcesline manager Bill Grant said: “This year’s Forcesline data shows that there is still a lot of work to be done to reach the younger generation of serving personnel. The new web chat will make Forcesline more accessible to younger generations and will encourage those who’ve been reluctant to ask for help to come forward.”

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