Matthew Project launches appeal for veterans
The Matthew Project has launched a fundraising appeal specifically for Outside The Wire - a bespoke drug and alcohol service offering confidential advice and support to current and ex-HM Forces veterans and their families across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
OTW Service Manager and Recovery Practitioner, Wayne Copsey, said: “PTSD and drug/alcohol misuse issues have been exacerbated by coronavirus and the associated lockdown, which has increased isolation and reduced social contact - we have seen a 12% increase in referrals.
“Lack of structure and relationship issues have added to these problems, and resulted in worsening mental health and increased alcohol use. This is a very vulnerable group, and suicide risk and health problems are a reality.”
At the same time there has been a reduction in support available. Combat Stress, a nationwide charity for veterans, has significantly cut down its work in East Anglia, for example. Outside The Wire has also received less funding and is struggling to keep up with demand. At present they have over 100 men and women using their service.
One former service user, Dave Fincham, has shared his story in order to raise awareness about the vital importance of Outside The Wire. As ex-military himself, he battled with post-traumatic stress disorder and spiralled into alcohol addiction, drinking five or six bottles of wine a day. His story of recovery after being hospitalised with a nervous breakdown highlights how difficult it can be to find the correct support.
You can view his fully story on YouTube or below.
You can find out more information about Outside the Wire and how you can support it on the Matthew Project website.
Pictured above is former Matthew Project service user Dave Fincham.