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06 Oct 22. Serving the Veteran better – MOD’s Veterans UK welcomes veterans feedback on its services.
For MOD’s Veterans UK, listening to and learning about how veterans access and experience their services is extremely important.
At a recent Lived Experience event – an opportunity for small groups of veterans and their advocates to discuss their experiences – senior leaders and staff from across the organisation welcomed a cross section of veterans to share their feedback and suggestions directly.
The face-to-face event was held in late September with a group of veterans, and representatives from MOD Policy, Medical Advisors and operational and communications staff.
Veterans UK is responsible for administering compensation and pensions schemes for both serving personnel, veterans and their families, as well as providing the Veterans Welfare and Defence Transition Services. The purpose of the event was to listen to the individuals and learn from their experiences of using these services and schemes.
This direct engagement forms part of our commitment to continuously improve and Veterans UK are now working with policy and other partners on the feedback received and how it can be used to inform the continuous improvement of the user experience.
Brigadier Caroline Hull, Head of DBS Armed Forces and Veterans Services said: “We know we need to be doing things better and whilst the teams in Veterans UK are working their hardest to get things right, this doesn’t always happen. We are here to learn, we are determined to improve, and we welcome the support of those who have voluntarily given up their time to support us.”
In Veterans UK we recognise there is more to be done as we continue to improve the experiences for serving personnel and veterans using our services. We want to be transparent and by sharing our processes is one way we have done that via the Customer Journey Maps and bite-size videos on how to make a compensation claim. Similar helpful and informative products are planned for the rest of 2022 and beyond.
For updates on all Veterans UK led initiatives, follow @modveteransuk on Facebook. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
06 Oct 22. Two-star general discusses living with bipolar disorder in the military. Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin, U.S. Army qualified Airborne-Ranger-Engineer, strategist, and combat veteran recently spoke with David Conley, founder of One More Day – an organization whose mission is to end military suicides – about the abrupt ending of his 36-year military career after receiving a mental health diagnosis triggered by previous combat experience.
In 2003 at age 47, Martin was a Colonel serving as a brigade commander when bipolar episodes emerged after repeat exposure to the stress and thrill of combat in Iraq. For 11 years, Martin’s diagnoses remained undetected. After achieving two-star status, Martin was serving as the President of the National Defense University when an episode of acute mania resulted in his removal.
Martin underwent three medical psychiatric evaluations as ordered by General Martin E. Dempsey, Joint Chiefs of Staff, yet his disorder remained undetected.
“It wasn’t until after I crashed and spiraled into total hopeless, debilitating, acute depression with terrifying psychosis that I went back in,” said Martin. In 2014, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1.
“The single biggest reason why nobody detected or recognized that I had bipolar disorder was that they were untrained, uneducated, and ignorant of the basic symptoms of the basic mental illness and disorders.”
Listeners can tune into this One More Day podcast episode on Spotify to learn more about how after seven years into recovery, Maj. Gen. Martin actively advocates for military education in hopes of ending what he calls the ‘forever war.’
SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing lifelong support to our Forces and their families since 1885. In 2020, our teams of volunteers and employees helped more than 79,000 people in need, the currently serving (both regulars and reserves), veterans from the Second World War and those who have served in more recent conflicts, as well as their families. SSAFA understands that behind every uniform is a person. And we are here for that person – any time they need us, in any way they need us, for as long as they need us.