Minds at War - fronted by long time activist and supporter of veterans, ‘Stormin’ Norman McGuigan who is himself a British military veteran.
Minds at War are here to support our veterans failed by the system, suicide prevention specialists and providers of therapy specialist to sufferers of combat PTSD
Norman has been working voluntarily the last few years as part of a small band of veteran brothers and sisters that have developed a safety net system where associated veteran groups can raise the alarm when someone in suicidal desperation reaches out for help via All Call Signs Facebook Group. Associated veteran groups that become aware of a desperate brother or sister close to the darkness know they can contact All Call Signs and people that really care like Stormin Norman McGuigan will react and make contact by phone initially to offer
an experienced and friendly ear, and thereafter will visit and do what is necessary on "suicide watch" to support the veteran and let them know they are cared about and are not alone in their struggle to deal with PTSD, depression or whatever struggles they are finding it impossible to cope with.
Unfortunately our government and MOD have been disgracefully negligent in supplying anything near a civilian life resettlement programme that is fit for purpose. The result of this neglect is a veteran suicide epidemic, an estimated 8000 homeless veterans living rough on our streets,and 13,000 veterans languishing in prison, many because of their lack of treatment for PTSD.
Minds At War was formed by Stormin' Norman and others to make real change to the lives of veterans by giving direct and life saving support NOW to the most vulnerable veterans, raising public awareness of the issues, and campaigning for government action.
Minds At War are developing a network of veteran listeners to make contact with struggling or suicidal veterans on a 24 hour basis, often having to travel to all parts of the country to give support or to get someone home safely that has been talked down from suicide. A case in point was during the current protest outside Combat Stress in Newport Shropshire, November 2018 where a missing veteran had not made it the full way to the protest camp, but had instead stopped off nearby and was in a bad way mentally. Norman by chance in the early hours happened to see some very dark messages on the missing veteran's social media, typical of messages from those at the end of their tether. Norman raised the alert, made contact with family of the vulnerable veteran and after conducting a preliminary search he raised the alarm with local police who promptly used ANPR technology to pin point where the veteran's car had been located recently. they then made their own search which found the guy in his car in a bad way with bottle of booze and drugs ready to end his torment. Well done to those police, and well done to the Minds At War team including the lovely Dot who spent the day with the veteran and accompanied him back to his home and family in Wales.
Money raised by this GoFundMe will be used to enable Norman and colleagues to travel the country doing their valuable work supporting vulnerable veterans, paying travel and subsistence expenses. Money raised will also be used to set up group therapy meeting rooms around the country and provide treatment for those most at risk.
Minds at War are setting up a PTSD helpline to advertise on all the veteran groups and organisations.
We are building a network of therapists all over the UK that can offer all the different types of therapy that may help sufferers cope with their illness.
We have formed a therapy alliance with an established recovery centre in Telford that offers mental health support including drugs and alcohol counselling and PTSD. Many PTSD sufferers cope with their trauma by self medicating with drugs and alcohol, so to be able to deal with both issues in one location is a real boost. Certain PTSD organisations like Combat Stress will not accept patients if they have substance abuse issues alongside their PTSD. These are the most vulnerable. In the Telford facility we have offices available for meetings, group therapy rooms and 1 to 1 therapy rooms. Our combat PTSD trained therapists will be able to immediately work alongside the existing therapists to offer a comprehensive range of treatment that will be of immense benefit to those suffering complex PTSD.
Minds At War help house homeless veterans and have started compiling a database of volunteer tradesmen to renovate run down properties to be used to give homes and a fresh start to our ex service lads and lasses. We have just linked up with 1968 Foundation in Telford who run a home for homeless veterans and we have beds available now and full support to get lives back on track, including alcohol and drugs counselling, benefits and housing support, and job search, training and mentoring.
You can follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/mindsatwar/
or visit our website www.mindsatwar.com
This GoFundMe has been set up by elected Minds At War treasurer Kaz, who will be transferring subsistence funds as needed to colleagues on the ground doing fantastic work as needed. Full records will be kept for transparency.