How does Shoulder to Shoulder help?

Ex-service men and women recovering from PTSD and other mental health issues said they felt more positive about their lives after taking part in our Shoulder to Shoulder mentoring project. 

In an external evaluation by Ă“rla Cronin Research they described how having a volunteer mentor made them feel less isolated and brought new trust and hope for the future.

The evaluation found that many service veterans were in a state of crisis in their lives, with complex and multi-faceted problems including financial hardship, homelessness, alcohol dependency, physical health problems and mental health problems including depression, anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia. 

Mentoring helped to alleviate their stress and isolation and helped them overcome daily challenges like taking public transport, budgeting and exercising. Some were able to start training and job hunting. Their ability to think optimistically about the future, both in setting goals, and in taking small steps towards those goals, improved over the course of the project.  

The project was the first peer mentoring project in the UK to support ex-service men and women who are suffering from mental health issues in this way. It was supported by Combat Stress and The Royal British Legion as a highly effective complement to the clinical treatments offered by other agencies. 

A full copy of the evaluation report is available to download here