Thursday, 28 February 2013

Why we help veterans and TA in prison and with addiction problems.

The PTSD Resolution outreach programme - with 200 counsellors - includes visiting and helping TA and veterans in prison, as well as those with alcohol and related addiction problems. This probably makes us unique in the military charity sector, as the only organisation prepared to help in these situations.

Our policy is that the very sad circumstances in which a traumatised veteran may find him or herself is probably symptomatic and related to the effects of the original trauma anyway. Therefore it is only humane to include these people, all veterans in the counselling programme.

The help we provide is limited by the funds that we have available to meet the costs of providing counsellors - we have no funds from Government, MoD, NHS or other organisations, and rely on donations from the public and one or two private Trusts that help.

We have no salaried staff or fixed assets - funds are used to provide counselling and a small informational campaign.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Taking the Trauma out of a Crisis: Trauma Training for Employers

Even staff who are professionally trained to respond to and deal with CBRNE events have their own personal stress thresholds. Beyond a certain level of exposure to disturbing experiences, almost everyone is vulnerable to trauma, according to the organisers of TATE, Trauma Awareness Training for Employers. The next half day training event for managers from all sectors is scheduled for Autumn 2013.

PTSD Resolution is the charity that runs the training and is successfully dealing with military trauma amongst many UK forces veterans and reservists. The counselling programme has had unparalleled results in the UK, according to PTSD Resolution, with nearly eight out of ten armed forces’ veterans treated successfully. This was achieved in an average of five sessions: 157 ex-service personnel have completed the programme, and 78 per cent of these had symptoms reduced to below the ‘clinical level'.

“ We are trying to raise funding for additional counselling to help the other 22 per cent who do not respond and others who fail to complete the programme. The attendance fees for TATE boosts our funds, as we rely on donations, as well as increasing awareness of the issues for employers,” says Piers Bishop, director of counseling at PTSD Resolution.

Few employers can recognise the symptoms of trauma, according to Bishop, far less assist employees and find out if they need help and then arrange appropriate treatment.

This is why PTSD Resolution introduced TATE. The registered UK charity (No. 1133188) provides trauma treatment to military veterans as its core aim. However, such has been the demand for help from employers of former soldiers that the charity set up half-day seminars to help company owners, line managers, human relations specialists and other CBRNE staff to recognise and deal with the problem of trauma, however caused.

Tips on Trauma

Piers Bishop says that if as a line manager you have staff who have been exposed to violent scenes, or come across them in their current employment, you and they need to be prepared through proper training – he makes these further points:-

1. If you experience the effects of trauma, you are not going mad and this is not a sign of weakness. It is a normal reaction to events and can happen to anyone, even robust and apparently stable people. Everyone has a threshold beyond which they can be traumatised:

2. It’s ok to talk about the event and feelings of trauma, but it won’t necessarily help. Treatment is what you need. The sooner you get on with it, the sooner you’ll be able to get back to normal life. If you broke your leg, you’d get it fixed professionally – it is not so different with mental health.

3. Your doctor probably won’t be a trauma specialist. In fact you may know more about post-traumatic symptoms than him or her because of the nature of your work and the people with whom you come into contact.

4. The latest medical thinking is opposed to medication for post-traumatic symptoms, but many doctors still offer antidepressants to new trauma cases. So you should insist on seeing someone qualified in this subject. There is a strong chance that with appropriate treatment you will experience a good recovery.

PTSD Resolution has a network of 200 counsellors in the UK, and bookings can be made centrally.

For further information on TATE courses, including the next open event and private company courses, visit

Author: Patrick Rea is Campaign Director for PTSD Resolution

Saturday, 2 February 2013

US News: More active-duty soldiers killed themselves than died in combat. After a decade of deployments to war zones, the Pentagon is bracing for things to get much worse PTSD Resolution counsels UK veterans to prevent these tragedies in the UK.