Put your best foot forward this March in aid of veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress, as they seek to raise money to meet the staggering increase in demand for their specialist services.
In the last ten years, the number of former servicemen and women with mental health problems who have contacted the charity for treatment has risen by 143% – from 994 in 2006/7 to 2,420 in 2016/17. The NHS, Ministry of Defence and Combat Stress’ own research forecast that demand for veterans’ mental health services will continue to rise over the next decade.
To fund the growing demand, Combat Stress is launching a new fundraising challenge March in March. Run, walk or jog ten miles on any day in March, submit evidence of your achievement and receive a special commemorative medal.
How and where people complete the challenge is up to those taking part, which means the event can be adjusted to your own personal challenge – walk ten miles in one day, beat your personal best by running 10 miles as fast as possible, even run the distance on a treadmill. It’s ideal training for those preparing for long distance events including the London, Brighton and Manchester marathons.
The charity is encouraging the public to share photos and videos on social media of them undertaking the challenge, using #MarchinMarch.
All money raised will enable Combat Stress to treat more veterans across the UK with mental health issues like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Robert Marsh, Director Income Generation at Combat Stress, said: “It would be fantastic to see as many people as possible signing up to take part in March in March. It’s the perfect opportunity to show your support for the military community.
“Combat Stress makes a real difference to the lives of thousands of former servicemen and women across the UK with mental health problems. Over the last decade we’ve seen a staggering 143% increase in referrals so it’s vital we raise funds to ensure we can continue to provide our life-changing treatment.
“Having the support of the public will make a huge difference to us.”
For more information and to sign up please visit combatstress.org.uk/march.
It costs just £20 to take part, which includes a £15 donation to help Combat Stress support veterans.
For more information please contact Nicola Hudson, PR and Communications Officer, on 01372 587165 / 07711 590259 or 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 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 in Ayrshire and Surrey
- 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)
Combat Stress, Registered Charity 206002; Registered Charity in Scotland SC038828; Company Ltd by guarantee: 256353.