#PTSD, #Isolation and #Support
By support needs I mean day-to-day tasks that we might need help with - eg cooking or doing something tricky in the realms of 'permitted work' where we need some guidance or a sounding board before going ahead on a certain idea or piece of work.
This support is essential to people living with chronic PTSD or any long lasting disability.
The problem is trying to find people that understand you, your disability, the task that your trying to achieve and have the time and patience to support you. I'm lucky in that I have two people in my life that will do this for me - whether it's checking over a piece of work, a web page or a document for errors or for a reassuring voice to ensure that I'm cooking safely and turning off all my appliances afterwards.
There are also times when I may need to speak to someone and either of my friends may be unavailable and I have to rely on an organisation to help me with telephone support.
All of these avenues of communication are possible through the telephone. You just have to make sure that you pick the right company with the right package for you. Mine allows me to call any UK phone number for free, any time of the day. I bought a little oven timer bell to make sure I don't go over an hour, as most companies only give you an hour free - then you have to redial the number to continue the conversation. If you don't want a landline, there are mobile service providers that will offer you a very good package that includes free calls to any UK landline or mobile number and including free data too. You might be able to get a good deal from these links: http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/tv-radio/price-comparison/or http://www.uswitch.com/broadband/compare/home_phone_and_landline/ - or you can find your own links by seaching 'Google' for 'uk mobile phone call packages' or something similar.
Here are some phone numbers for support, some of them for civilians, some for Veterans and others for both. I haven't personally used some of these organisations but feel free to share if you have had a bad experience with them. If you’re having a bad episode or need help urgently, you may find help right now with some of the agencies below:
Childline runs a helpline for children and young
people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will
not show up on your phone bill. Tel 0800 1111
Domestic Violence Helpline
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, for example, if you
are being subjected to physical violence, always call 999.
For confidential advice support and information, ring the
National helpline on 0808 200 0247.
Mind - a UK mental health charity
Lines are open 9am - 6pm, Monday - Friday
Tel 0300 123 3393, Email firstname.lastname@example.org
or Text: 86463
Samaritans operate a 24-hour service available every day of
the year. Tel 08457 90 90 90, or email email@example.com.
Ex Armed Forces specific support
Veterans UK (0808 1914 2 18) provides free advice on many
topics to all veterans and their families. When the Veterans UK
helpline is closed callers can opt to be routed to the
Combat Stress or The Samaritans 24hrs help lines (UK only).
Combat Stress is a UK Veterans' mental health charity.
Helpline 0800 138 1619
General enquiries 01372 587 000
SSAFA Forcesline provide confidential telephone support on a
range of services, including financial support and emotional
support. Tel 0800 731 4880. AWOL Helpline 01380 738137.
The Royal British Legion can help you with representation as well
as some financial assitance. They also offer a free handy person
service for those unable to do small DIY jobs in the home.
Telephone 0808 802 8080 - 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.
I know it can be hard to get from day-to-day and not many people will be able to empathise with you or understand you ... but I hope you find some support from the options above. Alternatively, you can go to www.lwptsd.com for a larger list of support organisations.
Villayat 'Wolf' Sunkmanitu