Photo © Howard Nichol
Photo © Howard Nichol
Poor mental wellbeing can make it difficult to cope with daily life. Many veterans experience mental wellbeing problems after they leave the Services and move into civilian life. FirstLight Trust provides the right support in the right place at the right time. Access to support is easy as the Café Hubs look like every day cafés ensuring that there is no stigma attached to walking through the door and accessing our services. We provide practical, real solutions laced with a dose of humour. Help us make our communities thrive!
In particular we are working to help more veterans join outdoor activities. Some of the activities involve football, foot golf, gardening, growing your own, cycling, tennis, art and music, which all help towards growing confidence and mental wellbeing.
Mental wellbeing – Hawick
We are here for families as well.
Being a mother, wife/partner, child of a veteran has its challenges; and not always the obvious ones. FirstLight Trust is here to support them too.
In 2019 a veteran’s mother (XY) approached FirstLight Trust concerned over the behaviour of her son who is now believed to be overseas. This behaviour was causing XY anxiety, sadness and anger and was being compounded by the death of XY’s mother in 2020.
Initially, FirstLight Trust had been giving XY generalized emotional support, but it became apparent that specialized support was needed as XY was unable to deal with her grief and it was affecting the relationship with her husband (also a veteran) and her life. XY was referred to a bereavement counsellor and with the completion of the course feels much better; ‘there was a huge snowball inside me, but it has been broken up into little pieces that I can deal with’.
Physical and mental issues were compounded by financial difficulties due to XY being on furlough. Additionally with considerable hip and leg pain, XY doubted whether she would be able to continue with her current, quite physical work. With assistance from FirstLight’s support co-ordinator, some budgeting and a review of what XY was entitled to financially due to pain, XY was able to apply for a claim that would relieve both the financial and anxiety pressures.
In March 2021, XY had obtained a new job, which gives her more hours, an increased salary, is close to home and is less physical. XY had gained in confidence and now looks forward to her life. She still receives regular phone calls, but is delighted with her life.
XY commented, ‘You’ve all been brilliant, absolutely brilliant.’