How does The Matthew Project help Veterans?
The Matthew Project is a charity operating in the East of England which focuses on supporting people with drug and alcohol misuse issues. It has been operating for over 35 years and during that time their programme Outside the Wire started in order to provide specialised support for British Veterans.
Drug and alcohol abuse is an unfortunately common hallmark carried by many Veterans today. For many services personnel, being discharged from the Armed Forces will be the first time they have been tasked with looking out for themselves or their family. When the structure and routine they have lived by is no longer there, they find themselves going through uncertain times with finances or family matters, and maybe they are struggling with mental health issues - everything can seem hopeless. Veterans do not tend to know healthy coping mechanisms when things go wrong. In the Armed Forces, they simply don’t have to worry about many things that can severely affect civilians. A single drug or alcohol binge can lead to further binges which in turn can make up an unhealthy lifestyle. Often people see their lives start spiralling down in these situations and to cope they consume more drugs and alcohol, a catch-22. Fortunately, charities like The Matthew Project exist to ensure that Veterans are given the support they need when things seem impossible to cope with.
Often, the first time a Veteran comes in contact with someone from The Matthew Project will be a private meeting where the Veteran can unload his or her situation with no judgement. To effectively help, the more the charity knows about each personal situation, the better. The staff from The Matthew Project understand the complexity of the mental health problems that many Veterans suffer from including PTSD, along with domestic violence and other family matters.
One Veteran explained his experience with The Matthew Project: "I’ve been receiving regular visits from my contact at The Matthew Project over the last few months after being put in touch with Outside The Wire by my partner. Our meetings have been very beneficial so far and I have made some positive changes in my behaviour, especially towards excessive alcohol consumption. He has made me understand like never before the impacts that alcohol can have on my life, my work and family. His help has been brilliant and he also understands the pressures of leaving the service and conveys his messages with an understanding and empathetic tone albeit with a sense of authority which I really needed. His wealth of experience has taught me many things and given me a belief that I have been lacking for a long time ...A belief in myself. I’m a sufferer of PTSD, depression and anxiety. My contact has built a strong rapport with me from day one and enabled me to open up about what’s really going on in my life and to take a step back and actually evaluate everything. He has encouraged me to focus on the positive things in my life much more and even offered me a challenge of improving my fitness."
How does Veterans’ Foundation help?
Veterans’ Foundation has given over £4 million to over 250 military charities including The Matthew Project. We are able to give large grants to military charities only through the generosity of our supporters. You can support the work we do by Donating today or by signing up to play the National Veterans’ Lottery today.