Today is as poignoint as Rememberance Sunday for many who have lost friends and loved ones to suicide. While we can never fully understand the reasons and motivations for someone to take their life, what we do know is the massive grieving hole that is left behind in the hearts and minds of those they leave behind.
When we join the Armed Forces we don’t just sign up for a job, it’s a way of life and a new extended family of which we will share experiences, successes and occasionally failures. However the resilience of mind and body ‘soldiers on’, and in those instances the military family has never been so important. It is what epitomises teamwork, comradeship and that inherent will to succeed, because that is how we are trained.
What we must remember is that we are human, and with that come the ups and downs of emotion. Speaking as a veteran I have friends who have survivor guilt from Operations where their friends and colleagues didn’t come home. I know colleagues who have struggled to adapt to civilian life when that military family of resilient comradeship is suddenly not the same and more distant than what it used to be. I know first hand of the anxiety of stepping away from the routine and securities the military gives you into the unknown, where worries of employment, housing and health were all taken care of before. Add to that the extra-ordinary duties we undertook in conflict and at home; we will have seen more and experienced more during our service than most people might in a lifetime.
While most veterans will leave service and embark on new exciting ventures more qualified, more experienced and more confident than before they joined; today is about those who are struggling. There is help for you, there is still that large extended family and you are very much part of it.
If you need help and support at this time contact please reach out. You matter and the world is a better place with you in it. The Northern Ireland Veteran support Office is available to signpost you to a variety of veteran friendly services within Northern Ireland. No person should have to go through a crisis alone, and there is always another way. Stay safe and look after each other.
Northern Ireland Veteran Support Office
Tel: +44 (0) 2895 216784
Email via website: https://nivso.org.uk/contact