An independent military charity that provides vital online psychological support to armed forces personnel and their families is due to launch in the House of Lords next month.
Stand Down will offer free and confidential online help to active duty personnel and their families, as well as to veterans, who suffer from any mental health condition, directly or indirectly, as a result of military combat.
The charity is aiming to fill a gap in the provision of immediate and accessible support services to armed forces, and any of their dependents, experiencing mental trauma. Technology is being used to provide regular weekly online counselling sessions. General counselling will be offered alongside cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).
An increasing number of the British Armed Forces are speaking out about returning from combat psychologically scarred and being left untreated, so the launch of the Stand Down comes at a time where there is a growing consensus that more needs to be done in terms of military mental health care.
The need for a charity like this has been reinforced by a new report published on 12 January 2016 called ‘Counting the Costs’ – conducted by King’s College London, which revealed that 25 years of wars has left 83,000 British troops with mental or physical injuries.
Stand Down has been founded by Kyna Jeng following the young death of her brother Anthony (Tony) Jeng, a Royal Engineer, who suffered from debilitating mental trauma as a result of military combat.
Kyna Jeng, CEO of Stand Down, says: “I’m extremely passionate about offering our armed forces the support and help they need to overcome any trauma they have suffered, mental or physical, as a result of their services. There is often a reluctance to seek help in military environments and by encouraging early intervention we can prevent more serious issues having a devastating impact upon service users lives further down the line.”
The national launch on 4 February is being preceded by a skydive on Saturday 30 January at military airbase Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire. Kyna Jeng’s daughter, Paris Nevin, will be joined by famous B*Witched pop star, Keavy Lynch, who is the official patron of Stand Down and a qualified Humanistic Counsellor, for a daring double jump to mark the founding of the charity.
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