Lack of trust in support services can be one of the reasons that veterans often seek help late. Veterans may feel that people don’t understand what they have been through and how these experiences have affected them. Additionally, there are strict physical and mental health requirements for serving in the military. Some veterans will hesitate to seek support because of the consequences it may have for their military career.
Men typically delay seeking help; instead they attempt to cope on their own. Veterans’ trust in support services can be influenced by various factors:
- Feeling that support services don’t understand them
- Male help-seeking behaviour (men seek help late)
- A sense of defeat in having to ask for support
- Difficult to know when help is necessary and which help is available
- Fear of ruining career opportunities
- Psychological problems are difficult to talk about and are stigmatising
- Some soldiers self-medicate with alcohol
- Some seek help so late that the problems have become massive and complex
Veterans can find it easier to ask for help if they “know” that support services are competent and have insight into the challenges of serving in international operations.