The Impact of Self Isolation on Armed Forces Veterans

Gavin Hughes Military Accident Solicitor
Gavin Hughes
Partner, Military Claims Solicitor

While military personnel have been asked to follow Government guidance on social distancing, homeworking, and non-essential travel, a prolonged lockdown for Armed Forces personnel could prove challenging to a workforce used to a highly dynamic and active working environment.

These challenges come more into focus for veterans of recent conflicts. The lockdown may lead to more time spent reflecting on traumatic past experiences and trying to come to terms with their impact.

In fact, researchers* in a flash study have found that there’s been a spike in the number of people who are reporting significant levels of anxiety and depression since lockdown. 36% said that their anxiety levels were significant and 38% reported significant depression.

This impact was felt immediately as the research took place only one day after Boris Johnson announced the lockdown.

When this level was compared to the same research the day before the lockdown, there was an increase of more than 137% in depression and 111% in anxiety.

So it’s clear that the lockdown has a real effect on the general population, but there’s little doubt that this impact will be more keenly felt by veterans.  

For veterans with an established second career, time away from the workplace could give an opportunity to reflect and consider the impact of past experiences with loved ones.

Sadly, for some, this may be a time where issues are brought into focus. This could be using alcohol as a crutch to cope with anxiety, problems with anger management and marital strain.

These types of problem may be red flags for a more serious underlying mental health condition, such as PTSD.

Thankfully, medical treatment should be readily available for any service personnel or veterans who decide that they need it.

For those in service, the unit medical centre should help by giving them an assessment and possible treatment with appropriate forces mental health medical professionals.

Veterans and anyone approaching discharge can contact the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Mental Health Service through the NHS website or by calling 0808 802 8080.

Charities such as Walking with the Wounded, and Combat Stress, have many years of experience of assessing and facilitating treatment for veterans. 

If veterans feel that a historic injury was not managed appropriately by forces medics and their Chain of Command, they may take this lockdown as an opportunity to take legal advice on making a potential claim.

Our team offer many years of expertise in this area and we’re still working through the lockdown. We can offer a no cost and no obligation initial consultation, so talk to one of our experienced Military Claims Solicitors.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback

Covid Support Force

It should give us all comfort to hear news of the involvement of our inspirational Armed Forces to help the country through the unprecedented challenge it faces. 

Currently the Covid Support Force is involved in projects including helping the NHS convert the Excel Exhibition Centre into a 4,000 bed hospital, supplying food and other supplies to the elderly, transporting personal protective equipment to hospitals and 250 Armed Forces personnel currently training to drive oxygen tankers for the NHS.

The MoD have also confirmed that up to 20,000 personnel are on standby, ready to help with the management of the crisis.

*Research carried out by academics from the University of Sheffield and Ulster University.

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