Posted on December 5, 2018
The Big Salute grant will go towards funding a six-week occupational therapy course for veterans from across the UK who are referred for mental health treatment. Combat Stress will hold the courses at one of their three residential treatment centres in Ayrshire, Shropshire and Surrey. Robert Marsh, Director of Income Generation for Combat Stress says that his charity has been helping veterans from the early 20th century: “We were found 100 years ago just after the end of World War One by women who saw waves and waves of veterans coming back from the Western Front, totally shattered to their core by weeks and months of trench warfare and they decided to do something about it.” Robert says that the money raised by listeners like you makes a huge impact on the impact of veterans struggling with their mental health: “The support from The Big Salute has been really helpful in making sure we can make and deliver the services that veterans find so helpful.”
Treatment for mental health problems has dramatically evolved over the last century. During the First and Second World Wars PTSD was poorly understood and many veterans weren’t treated with compassion or dignity. Robert believes organisations like Combat Stress have helped change the narrative: “The British Armed Forces treat mental health a lot better than they probably did twenty or even ten years ago. They’ve introduced things like TRiM (trauma risk management)… so the military like the commercial world have realised the impact of stress and having good mental health does impact the bottom line. That’s a really good thing.”
The BFBS Big Salute is an annual campaign that raises vital funds for armed forces charities. Most recently, the Big Salute has awarded grants to 13 charities: Alabare, Association of Royal Naval Officers (ARNO), Blesma the Limbless Veterans, Bridge4Heroes, Combat Stress, Felix Fund, Glen Art, Help 4 Homeless Veterans, The Matthew Project, Turn to Starboard, Unload and Veterans Aid.