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New support service for Cornwall military veterans

New support service for Cornwall military veterans

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 1:22pm 6th February 2020. (Updated at 10:24am 7th February 2020)

A new drop-in service has launched to support veterans with drug and alcohol issues in Cornwall.

The service, run by drug, alcohol and mental health treatment charity Addaction as part of its Right Turn programme, consists of four drop in sessions each month specifically for veterans to access support. 

Anyone who has previously served in the armed forces can attend and receive specialist one to one support around accessing treatment for their drug and/or alcohol use. 

Each year roughly 17,000 people leave the armed forces. Whilst the majority transition successfully back into civilian life an increasing minority struggle with drug, alcohol and mental health issues. 

"It's a really brave decision for someone to come forward and ask for help, so when they do we need to make sure their first experience is a really positive one. 

"These sessions are about tailoring services to veterans needs so they feel understood and can start to address their issues."

Lee Flowers, Right Turn Coordinator for Addaction

The drop in days will be split across Addaction's four sites in Cornwall: 

  • 1st Wednesday of every month - Newquay
  • 2nd Wednesday of every month  - St Austell
  • 3rd Wednesday of every month - Truro
  • 4th Wednesday of every month - Falmouth

The drop in sessions will be run by Recovery Worker and Right Turn Lead in Cornwall Andy Kent. 

Andy served as an Aircraft Engineer in the Royal Air Force for seven years. After leaving the armed forces he struggled with the transition back into civilian life and started using drugs as a way to cope. 

He reached out for support and completed treatment with Addaction. He has gone on to become a Recovery Worker, using his lived experience to help others. 

"I know first hand that leaving the armed forces and re-adjusting to civilian life can be a tough process for some people. Many veterans can feel alone and scared of reaching out for help. 

"These drop in sessions are a safe space where veterans can come and speak to someone who speaks their language and understands what they are going through. 

"I know that with the right support people can make extraordinary changes, we just need to show people that the help is out there."

Andy Kent, Right Turn Lead

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