Life after the army can be a real challenge. Whether you are trying to adapt to civilian life, get housing or mortgage advice , find a new career or generally just get used to not been in the army ever again – it can be a struggle
You just have to look at the suicide rate of ex personel to see how difficult this transition can be.
In 2012, the Pentagon announced an all-time high 349 suicides by service members, despite expanding suicide prevention programs.
The rise is disturbing on many levels, primarily because it indicates that service members are not getting the help they need – whether it is from the stigma still associated with seeing mental/behavioral health to someone feeling like their whole world is coming down around them and there is no other way out.
It seems painfully obvious that the measures we’ve been taking – mandatory PowerPoint briefings and suicide stand-down days (where the entire Army does nothing but focus on suicide prevention) – aren’t working.
The Army needs to get back to “old-school” leadership styles, where leaders knew everything about their Soldiers and can spot the signs in their troops – before anything happens.
I was once taught that if a Soldier mentions suicide, their leaders should drop everything they are doing and take that Soldier out of the situation – bring them to my home, offer them a beer and find out what the problem is. Under no circumstances should we leave them alone, and it’s our job as leaders to take care of our troops. We can’t just hand them off to the chaplain or someone at the hospital – leaders need to show them that someone they know cares for them and is willing to go out of their way to help.
If we’re going to do anything about suicides in the military, we need to get away from the disease that is mandatory PowerPoint and start acting like real leaders.
Where to get advice
You can get advice on life after the army at the following places
British Army Website
Find help and assistance on transition here
Have a lot of helpful information here
Provide advice and support for ex-forces personnel here
Find out how to build up your credit score here