15 May 2019

Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress launches £10m appeal

Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress launches a £10 million appeal, to meet the increasing demand from younger veterans for its specialist services.

Launched in Combat Stress’ centenary year, The At Ease Appeal needs to raise £10 million over three years. With more demand for its services than Combat Stress can meet, the charity is more reliant than ever before on charitable donations.

In the last decade new referrals to the charity have doubled to 2,000 a year, largely due to a significant number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming forward for help. Recent research has revealed that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is now nearly twice as high among veterans than the general public. For those who served on the frontline in Iraq or Afghanistan, almost one in five are predicted to develop PTSD.

No other organisation provides these services. The money raised through the Appeal will enable Combat Stress to continue supporting those who turn to the charity in their darkest hour by providing crucial services such as its world-leading PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme, short-stay clinical treatment and a free 24-hour Helpline and text number.

Alongside this, there is an urgency to meet the needs of younger veterans who often have work or family commitments and struggle to balance the pressure of their lives with seeking mental health treatment.

Combat Stress will use funds raised through the Appeal to increase access to treatment by launching its world-class PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme into the community to allow more veterans to have flexible access to treatment. The charity will also introduce innovative video call therapy and expand its successful Peer Support Service, which helps veterans feel supported and safe so they’re able to engage with the charity and benefit fully from the range of treatment programmes.

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