In the last of our series of special reports, ex-service personnel have been telling Sky Tyne and Wear about the hardship they face adjusting to civilian life when they leave 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.”
Former Sergeant for the Royal Artillery Richard Thomas said: "In the army you are a big fish. When you return home you are just a baby, and fending for yourself can be very tough.
Video: Living on the streets after being in the army
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.
- Exclusive Armed Forces Special Part One: Issues Facing NE Veterans
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