We held our first VICs Families group on the 27/09/18. J’s mother, partner and small child attended. They had heard about our group through social media. Like most families of a veteran who is struggling or suffering in some way, J’s family had a lot of question, fears and were at their wits’ end as to how and help him. They told us of his mood swings, drinking and drug use. All of these issues were having an effect on the entire family.

J had been diagnosed with PTSD in 2011 by the Army and consequently Medically Discharged. Since then, he has had very little follow up treatment.

We contacted J and invited him to meet us for an informal chat. He attended our next meeting, on the 28/09/18, with his mother. We asked him to tell us what was going on in his own words; he was quite taken back when we assured him that he was not alone and that we had also suffered in the same way.

Like most veterans, J has a very good work ethic and is well aware of his financial obligations and responsibilities. At the same time, he has struggled to settle into a job has adopted poor coping strategies which have taken their toll on him and his family.

Veterans in Crisis Sunderland has recently been in talks with a former Army colleague who now runs a company specialising in warehouse and shop fitting. John Roscoe has personal experience of the misery of PTSD and its consequences.

He has offered to employ veterans from our group who we think are mentally and physically ready to go back to work. They will be trained up and accommodation will be paid for. The firm is happy for them to attend any treatments or therapy session that they need to in order to move forward with their recovery.

In conjunction with Installations Are Us, VICs has sourced Health and Safety courses and qualifications for the Veterans including essential CSCS card and training.

We arranged for John Roscoe to meet J and other potential candidates in Sunderland at our weekly meeting on Tuesday 9th September. To our and John’s delight, he started work the next day.