Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, has today announced Neil Oliver as an ambassador in Scotland.
The television presenter, archaeologist and author, best known for presenting series such as A History of Scotland, Vikings and Coast, will help the charity to raise awareness of its vital work supporting former servicemen and women with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Neil recently visited Hollybush House, the Combat Stress treatment centre in Ayr, to meet with veterans supported by the charity.
Neil said: “Through my work and the research projects I have been involved in, I am aware of the psychological impact war can have. Regardless of age, gender and conflict, the trauma of war can have a devastating and debilitating effect on service personnel and veterans.
“I greatly admire the armed forces. Through my role as ambassador of Combat Stress, I will use my profile to raise awareness of why the charity is needed and the invaluable work it does not only in Scotland but throughout the UK.”
Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress said: “By raising awareness of Combat Stress we are able to reach more veterans struggling with their mental health, and provide them with the support they need and deserve. It also enables us to raise more money to provide our specialist clinical treatment that helps former servicemen and women rebuild their lives.
“We are delighted that Neil has become an ambassador for Combat Stress in Scotland. With his support we can continue to highlight the issue of veterans’ mental health and increase understanding of the reality of living with service-related trauma.”
Photos available on request. Please contact Holly Ayres at firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.
For almost a century we’ve helped former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Over the past five years (2012 to 2017) we have seen an average of more than 2,000 referrals each year. Demand for our services continues to grow – we have seen a 143% increase in referrals from ten years ago.
On average it takes 12 years after leaving the military for veterans to contact Combat Stress for help, by which time their condition is often highly complex. However, veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts are coming to Combat Stress much sooner (three and four years respectively).
To help veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services:
- Short-stay clinical treatment at our treatment centres
- A specialist Intensive Treatment Programme – delivered at our treatment centres
- Community Teams – providing treatment and practical support to veterans. Last year our regional community teams undertook almost 5,400 face-to-face appointments
- Outpatients – assessment by psychiatrists and psychologists – at our treatment centres and in the community – enables us to diagnose, define and deliver the treatment veterans require
- Occupational therapy – delivered at our treatment centres and in the community, we use meaningful and creative activity to encourage hope, wellbeing and recovery
- Peer Support Service – Led by veterans for veterans, it’s the first UK-wide service of its kind for those with mental health problems. The service enables them to share their experiences, receive support and socialise with others with similar experiences.
- Substance Misuse Case Management Service – helping veterans to access the services for their drug and alcohol problems so their mental health issues can be addressed
- Our 24-hour Helpline is there for veterans, serving personnel and their families (0800 138 1619)