When completing housing and hostel referral forms, very few request information about serving history, discharge or even mention service personnel. We look at providing support for many of the bi-products related to serving in the forces, such as mental health issues, alcohol or drug abuse. But, we fail to acknowledge institutionalisation which can make 'civi street' very hard to cope with and life in general.
Although there are services to assist ex-service men with everyday issues, such as SSAFA, we as outreach workers do not specialise in this specific need as some may in mental health or addictions. I doubt that many workers have been offered training around such an issue.
How can we best prepare ourselves to effectively support ex-service men and women, so that we can assess their needs thoroughly and access services effectively?
(picture by Stuart Griffiths© , http://www.stuartgriffiths.net)