Bruce Allan and Steve Law were infantry soldiers in the British Army. Bruce is a recovering alcoholic and Steve has been diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Both men have used Veterans First Point in Scotland, part funded by the MOD under the covenant, to help them with the issues they’ve faced since leaving the forces.
I’m a recovering alcoholic and my project worker at the alcohol recovery team mentioned Veterans First Point to me. I went along earlier this year and my first impression was how welcoming staff were towards me. There is no pre-judging from anyone and I felt accepted as I am and could talk freely.
It makes such a difference being able to speak to other veterans who have similar experiences. There is a common bond between us and you can open up more easily about your problems. I’ve had fantastic support from staff pointing me in the right direction to get problems sorted such as help with my finances. It’s reassuring to know V1P is here, that staff will help you no matter what.
I knew about Veterans First Point (V1P) as I was already having therapy for post traumatic stress disorder at the Rivers Centre for Traumatic Stress at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital. I actually helped to decorate the interior before it opened in 2009. It’s a great service and one that is very easy to access.
I found on days when I was struggling, they helped to prioritise things for me and helped me get back on track. The drop-in service was vital for me. It’s good to know V1P exists and can support and direct you to a range of services. I’d never really talked to other veterans but the relaxing environment of V1P made it possible. I’m moving forward with my life and currently doing voluntary work which I don’t think I would have managed without V1P’s help.