The Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET), Scotland’s Armed Forces Children’s Charity, has a new service supporting military youngsters across Scotland with their mental health.
‘Your Mind Matters’ – the first initiative of its kind in Scotland – was developed following consultations with more than 600 young people from forces families.
Through these discussions more than 83 per cent of young people said that their wellbeing was negatively affected by the challenges that they were facing, many of which were unique to service life. These included the stress and anxiety over a deployment of a loved one to the constant moving and upheaval to friendships and education caused by new postings.
Isabelle, a member of RCET’s MYVoice Scotland forum, says:
“There was a point when I was a bit younger where I felt really isolated. Where I lived there weren’t a lot of people who had been through the same things as me.
“If I’d had support, I wouldn’t have gone through all of the difficult phases I had as a child and I wouldn’t be in quite the place I am at the minute. I would have been a lot better.”
Young people from the forces community will work with the charity to create a digital wellbeing tool to provide crucial support to children currently falling through the gaps: those who have recently moved to Scotland, children of veterans, forces young carers and those living in rural areas where direct support may not always be possible. The charity is also trialling face-to-face wellbeing support for forces children living in the West of Scotland, when it’s safe to do so.
If you know of a child who may benefit from this service, encourage them, or a parent or guardian, to get in touch by email at rcet.org.uk or call 0131 322 7350.