Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress has received a £50,000 donation from Simplyhealth, the UK’s leading health solutions provider based in Andover, Hampshire.
The donation will fund the charity’s 24-hour Helpline and Peer Support Service.
Since Kabul fell to the Taliban last month, Combat Stress has seen calls to its Helpline double. The charity says there has been a resurgence of post-traumatic stress disorder among former servicemen and women, especially those who served in Afghanistan, who have been retraumatised by the media coverage of the humanitarian crisis.
The Combat Stress Helpline (0800 138 1619) provides confidential advice and support to former servicemen and women, serving personnel, and their families struggling with military-related trauma.
With more calls for help, the charity is seeing greater demand for its specialist services including peer support. The first of its kind in the UK, peer support is led by veterans for veterans. It offers former servicemen and women the opportunity to talk to and support others with similar experiences during and after treatment from Combat Stress. During the pandemic, peer support has been delivered by the charity online but in-person support will soon be resuming.
Jeff Harrison, Interim CEO at Combat Stress, said: “We are extremely grateful to Simplyhealth for their incredibly generous donation. We have seen a sharp rise in demand for our specialist services recently and it is vital that we can be there to support these veterans manage and overcome their trauma.
“With the support of Simplyhealth and our other donors, we are able to continue delivering our life-changing services to veterans across the UK and help them to rebuild their lives.”
Dr. Sneh Khemka, CEO of Simplyhealth, added: “We’re all aware of recent events in Afghanistan and as a company whose purpose is to improve access to healthcare in the UK, want to help at a time of great pressure on the NHS and specialist charities. I’m delighted that the funds we’re donating to Combat Stress will help them continue the invaluable work they are doing with British military veterans from all conflicts.
“In addition to our donation, we’re offering free access to mental health counselling and 24/7 GP services via our specialist network of qualified doctors and counsellors to all Afghanistan veterans for 12 weeks. Our hope is that between us we will be able to do more to get the right help to the right people as quickly as possible.”