The online support and signposting site for military service personnel, veterans, their families and/or partners struggling with any mental health challenge such as: Anxiety, Depression and of course PTSD
First Step Forward is an online Post Traumatic Stress Disorder support site for Military Service personnel, Veterans, their partners, families and loved ones. The site provides information, signposting and support services, that shows the various local support groups, organisations and charities that provide advice and assistance to Military Service personnel, Veterans, their Families and Partners, struggling with PTSD.
Part of the support services available, will be the offer of: One to one Life Coaching and Self-help Workshops, where qualified Coaches and Mentors, will offer alternative therapies such as NLP and EFT. The idea, is that Veterans may learn various tools and techniques which could be of assistance to them, whilst they are awaiting further support from the other organisations and/or mainstream charities.
With the ever increasing number of PTSD cases overwhelming the mainstream charities such as Combat Stress and PTSD Resolutions, there is an influx of local support groups being formed, providing critical initial assistance and guidance, as Veterans begin to support themselves and one another.
The importance of ensuring that individuals can gain information, support and assistance as soon as possible, cannot be underestimated. Therefore, Self-help is critical although should not be seen, as a long-term solution without the correct treatment from qualified personnel. However, with increasingly longer waiting times at our Doctors surgeries and mainstream charities, due to the overwhelming numbers, it is the next best thing.
We will endeavour to update this map on a regular basis, with the details of various support groups around the country and we would welcome your assistance in completing this task. Please do Contact Us with as much information as you can, when informing us of these essential groups.
Combat Stress, Tyrwhitt House, Oaklawn Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 0BX firstname.lastname@example.org
Forces Online, Manor Enterprise Centre, High St, Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 7AU
First Step Forward was founded by Nick Wilson, a Veteran who has faced and in ways, is still facing the struggles of living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD. Nick identified, that whilst there is support around, it can be very difficult, confusing and time consuming trying to source the relevant organisation, that can provide the right assistance for you personally. Currently there is no user friendly, centrally located website where those struggling with PTSD can go, to find out what support groups there are in their specific local area, what formal organisations and charities there are who could help, or where these individuals have the unique ability to gain access to self-help workshops and one to one life coaching.
With the ever increasing numbers of PTSD cases overwhelming the mainstream charities such as Combat Stress and PTSD Resolutions, there is an ever increasing number of smaller local support groups starting up and a desire to look towards alternative therapies. The importance of ensuring that individuals can gain information, support and assistance as soon as possible, cannot be underestimated. Self-help is critical, although not ideal or recommended as a long-term solution without the correct treatment from qualified personnel, however with increasingly longer waiting times due to overwhelming numbers, it is the next best thing.
Founder of First Step Forward – Nick Wilson, left the Army in 2012 as a part of the government redundancies and his own PTSD diagnosis was not forthcoming until four years later in 2016, regardless of being diagnosed for Depression on two occasions post Northern Ireland and Iraq going back to 2001. He has dedicated his time to highlighting the challenges faced by military service personnel, veterans, their partners and families, whilst trying to remove the stigma that is associated with those who have mental health struggles including of course, PTSD.
This has come at a cost though, with Nick losing relationships of work associates, colleagues, friends, family and his own two children. He struggled with his own mental health challenges, resulting in him admittedly making one too many mistakes that cost his company financially, nearly losing it altogether. However, as he battles on with his own journey, fighting through as only a veteran would, it ultimately resulted in him becoming a victim of his own success. He was forced to sell his Chauffeur company, that he had spent four years building into a successful £1/4 million turn over business, as it outgrew his abilities both financially and mentally, so unwittingly he negotiated the merger with another chauffeur company and then moved on at the end of 2016.
He has since launched himself as a Personal Development Coach/Mentor and Military Transitions Consultant, assisting organisations in identifying Veterans transferable skills into their specific industry and building military support programs. He is also a volunteer with Forces Online as Director of Development and Marketing, whilst also heading up the Self-Help Workshops with First Step Forward and the Veteran Transition Workshops through Forces Online. Watch his story here
The businesses below are key to the ongoing support that First Step Forward can provide and as such it is only right that we explain just how each of them are involved and have gained the following statements from them;