The online support, signposting and Self-Help Workshop site for Military personnel, Veterans, their families and partners, and those in Education, who live with Mental Health challenges such as: Anxiety, Depression, Stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
First Step Forward is an online Mental Health support site for Military Service personnel, Veterans, their partners, loved ones and those in Education, attending Schools, Colleges and Universities. The site provides information, signposting and support services, including various local support groups, organisations and charities that provide advice and assistance to those individuals who are struggling with accepting or coming to terms with the wide variety of Mental Health challenges, that 1 in 3 of people in the UK will face at some point in their lives.
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 individuals in need, might learn some of the 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.
We will also be partnering with a new and innovative support network called - Guard Commander, that will connect those individuals who are looking for someone local to talk to and who is more importantly, within their local region and has a personal knowledge or experience of living with Mental Health. More news on this exciting partnership when it goes live in 2018.
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 email@example.com
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 confusing, overwhelming and time consuming trying to source the relevant organisation, that can provide the right assistance for you personally. Initially set up specifically for Veterans with PTSD, as there was no user friendly, centrally located website where those struggling with PTSD could go to find what local support groups there were or where these individuals have the unique ability to gain access to self-help workshops and one to one life coaching.
However, after extensive research, supporting other Mental Health organisations and campaigns, it is clear that PTSD is only a small part of a much wider, Mental Health problem within the UK and with this danger now affecting our future generations, within Schools, Colleges and Universities, it is ever more important to ensure there is as much support available as possible, for ALL those Mental Health impacts on. 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;