VETERANS across Worcester are being encouraged to seek support over the collapse of the West’s efforts to shore up Afghanistan.
The rapid Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has left some in the country fearing for their lives and seeking to escape the country, often by any means necessary.
It’s a fear shared by veterans in Worcestershire, many of whom served in the country in the early part of the war more than a decade ago.
Local support is available to those who may want to talk or in need of further assistance.
There are a number of military charities based in Worcestershire who are at the end of a phone ready to listen and on standby to help.
They will understand the situation may be distressing for anyone who has been affected by conflict.
David Clark, Worcestershire chairman of SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity said: “As a national charity, SSAFA is here to support all our veterans, reservists, serving military personnel and their families.
“Working closely with the NHS and other national organisations, SSAFA can ensure the right support is provided. I encourage anyone in this community effected by events in Afghanistan to get in touch via Forcesline.
Military Charity, Stepway run a number of drop-ins across the county. They are reaching out to veterans who may prefer to chat face to face or would just like to speak to one of their veteran volunteers.
Dawn Turner, founder and operations director of Stepway said: ” We understand recent events may have an impact on mental health for a large number of Service Personnel, Veterans or their families, including the families of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
STEPWAY is here to listen and support you through this. The Veterans HUB is based in Worcester and we cover Worcestershire with out-reach programmes.”
To contact SSAFA Worcestershire please call 01905 21728 or visit www.ssafa.org.uk/worcestershire
Call 01905 745 253 or visit www.stepway.org for more from Stepway
Coun Rob Adams, chair of Worcestershire’s Armed Forces Covenant partnership said: “The men and women who have served in HM Armed Forces deserve our respect and understanding during this difficult time and we hope those needing support don’t feel they are alone.
“Worcestershire has some fantastic organisations to turn to, run by like-minded people who will empathise, listen, and offer their support. We must also remember the impact on families. It is heartening to know that so many charities offer support for the entire armed forces family.”
As well as local charities there are a number of 24/7 national helplines including:
Veterans Gateway: 0808 802 1212
Forcesline: 0800 260 6767
Op Courage, the NHS military mental health helpline: 0800 323 4444