Life as a military carer can leave you feeling isolated and, at worst, can have a detrimental effect on your mental health and wellbeing.

You probably dedicate a large amount of your time to sourcing and arranging help for your loved one, but when was the last time you thought about yourself?

The Ripple Pond supports the families of mentally or physically injured armed forces personnel and veterans, and can connect you with a UK-wide peer support community, made up of forces and veteran family members.

Common ground

Members come from all walks of life, but the one thing they have in common is that they’ve faced the same struggles. It’s a relaxed and friendly community that allows you to compare experiences, listen without judgement, and offers genuine support and advice – should you want to talk. Not everyone likes to share – for some, just being part of the community and being able to read about others’ experiences can be enough.

Amy explains how the charity helped her family when her husband was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in 2011, after his last tour of Afghanistan. “The run-up to and post-diagnosis was a difficult transition, as we were in our early 20s and our lives changed forever. Learning to live with a new reality was very difficult, not least because PTSD is an ‘invisible’ injury and often people would appear to be judgmental and disbelieving of his diagnosis. What people sometimes don’t see is that although he came back from war in one piece, he came back changed.

“Night terrors, suicidal thoughts and survivor’s guilt consumed my once fearless and carefree husband. Without the support of our family and friends in those dark days I dread to think how life would be now. I only wish that I had found The Ripple Pond sooner, it was life-altering.

“For the first time in years, I felt that the complex feelings I had towards living with someone with PTSD were normal, and seeing others living with similar experiences made me feel relieved and lighter.”

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