In the first of a series of special reports, ex-service personnel have been telling Sky Tyne and Wear of the hardship they face adjusting to civilian life upon leaving the armed forces.
Issues such as homelessness, depression and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affected each of the three veterans we spoke to.
British Army Royal Logistic Corps driver Christine Hickey said: “I suffered PTSD several years after leaving the army. I found I could not sleep and had severe anxiety.
“I tried to commit suicide and was also diagnosed with bi-polar disorder meaning I had very high and very low moods.”
Janice Wilson, a councillor with mental health charity MIND, said: “We do offer support to help veterans but there is always more that can be done.
“It can be extremely difficult to link people into specific support once they come out of the army. We have around 5 cases a week of people needing help for PTSD and depression.”
An MOD spokesperson said a minority did struggle.
He said: “The men and women of our Armed Forces are among Britain’s bravest, most upstanding citizens.
"After leaving the Services, a minority do struggle and it is our job to give those few the support and care that they need.
"The government has also helped in offering support for veterans. There is a support service called Big White Wall. This is an online early intervention service for people experiencing emotional distress.
"It offers anonymous support 24/7 through a trial for serving personnel, veterans and their families.”
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