Military Support

Serving and Non Serving
Ron Pimm (Capt, Rtd)

Ron Pimm (Capt, Rtd)

Non-Executive Director

The transfer from the MoD to civilian life is tremendous, and one that many veterans struggle with for many years. Lavinia has worked within the Psychiatric Department at Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, as well as in the TIL Veterans service within the NHS. There remain challenges on both sides and there is a large gap in support for veterans who are struggling with their mental ill-health.

If you are a veteran, or know of a veteran struggling with mental ill health, despite having accessed a number of services, we may well be in a position to help and support you in your recovery.

Many veterans struggle to adapt to civilian life due to the loss of comradeship, work/life structure, and status (transitioning from No. 1 protector of the UK sea, land, and air to ‘just’ another civilian). Many struggles without the benefits that the MoD provided with the job, and adjusting from being within a unit/platoon to being alone without backup support.

Veterans also suffer from trauma following experiences in the wars in Northern Ireland, the Falklands, Syria, Afghanistan, and many more with loss of friends, loss of limbs, and loss of self. Nightmares, sensory issues, and low self-esteem become a debilitating experience that also impacts the family. Many veterans feel lonely, isolated, out of their depth in terms of coping, and feeling a burden to their family, their community, and society in general. Some feel that their training to do a job within the forces is now no longer a useful commodity within civilian life.

This is where Lavinia is a very skilled and experienced clinician. She works to help clients piece together the parts that will enable them to adapt and fit back into civilian life, and teaches them how to build on their strengths. Lavinia has helped many veterans who have had active suicidal plans to begin to see that there is hope and, more importantly, helps them on a path to recovery to start building a new life for themselves.

The M Word is also fortunate in liaising with many specialist military charities as well as having Non-Executive Director Ron Pimm (Capt., Rtd) on board as a supporter and advisor.

Lavinia has many letters of recommendation related to her work with veterans across the UK, as well as support from other agencies, who have often identified areas in Lavinia’s outcomes that other professionals have missed. We also actively encourage veterans to apply as volunteers to act as ‘buddies’ to support those going through therapy, knowing that this can aid a veteran’s recovery even more swiftly

Testimonials

– Mike Tracey

The Story of a Veteran

Lavinia Helped Me with some long-standing issues that kept taking me back into some very, very dark places

Over some 20 years, Lavinia provided my second go at trying to sort out some long-standing issues which kept taking me back into some very, very dark places. I did not know exactly why I felt like I did but previously, others had failed to connect with me to help me breakthrough to some resolution. Out of my military environment, people did not act as I thought they should and expected, and my self-esteem had plummeted to an all-time low. Therefore, before meeting Lavinia, I had been left skeptical and let down.

However, on meeting her, I felt I had to give her a chance – for me.

From the start, she seemed to want to understand without judgment or have any preconceived ideas. As we explored my stuff together, I soon picked up that she was really listening, taking on-board important but also (to me) minor points, analyzing, promoting, and knitting them together, pulling together a picture over a few weeks that for the first time, started to make some sense to me.

For me, a huge element that supported my progress was that the NHS program seemed to be provided under a rationed period of time – Lavinia pushed against that and in the end, I was given the time I needed and it was for me to elect a completion, rather than being left floundering had my allotted time had been reached.

She eventually gained my trust and her searching but meaningful questions linked with stuff that we had maybe talked about weeks before, but I had forgotten. She listened, processed, and then suggested some reasons as to why I was feeling the way I was. I still questioned and remained skeptical until her credibility won me over and she followed with reasoned guidance – always without pressure.

I now understand more why I feel the way I do and have some strategies with which to positively move forward – which I have done.

Wg Cdr S R

 

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