Advertisement
News

Virtual reality experience fights the invisible enemy of veterans

Veterans’ charity SSFA hopes to use immersive tech to garner public support to tackle growing feelings of loneliness among ex-servicemen and woman

Armed forces charity SSAFA has launched a new virtual reality experience to highlight the rise and fall of service men and women after their military career ends.

The experience juxtaposes the comradeship of the military with the struggle of isolation after the transition back to civilian life. The switch presents difficulties for many veterans including relationship breakdown, depression, drug and alcohol dependency and lack of suitable housing.

It is hoped that it will be able to to garner public support for the charity’s campaign to fight isolation in veterans.

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the charity found that 41 per cent of British armed forces veterans felt lonely or isolated since leaving the military with over a quarter (27 per cent) admitting to having suicidal thoughts after finishing service. They cited losing touch with friends in the forces, physical and mental health issues and struggling to relate to anyone in civilian life as the cause of their feelings of isolation.

Another 27 per cent of the 2,000 working-age veterans surveyed felt they would benefit from meeting someone regularly from a military background to talk about their experiences, pointing to a growing need for increased help in place for military personnel after finishing service.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Over a quarter of armed forces veterans admitted to having suicidal thoughts

Justine Baynes, Director of Marketing and Communications at SSAFA, said: “For many, a veteran is an older man marching on Remembrance Day, but we are seeing an increase in the number of younger veterans coming forward with far more complex issues.

“We wanted to make people aware of the challenges faced by service men and women when they leave the forces and how hard it is to adjust. After serving in the armed forces, the realities of civilian life can be a very daunting experience.

“SSAFA offers support to those leaving the armed forces that is personalised to their needs, through our network of trained case workers.  This is a lifeline for many who have served our nation and we’re encouraging the public to join our fight by making a donation to support our work.”

To find out more, or donate visit https://www.ssafa.org.uk/fight

Advertisement

Support your local vendor

Want to buy a copy of the magazine? We have over 1,200 Big Issue vendors in the UK. Each vendor buys a copy of the mag for £1.50 and sells it for £3, keeping the difference. Visit our interactive map to find your nearest vendor and support them today!

Recommended for you

Read All
Michael Gove vows to get tough with social housing landlords in warning over horror homes
Social Housing

Michael Gove vows to get tough with social housing landlords in warning over horror homes

Shell consultant quits with explosive LinkedIn post accusing oil giant of 'extreme harms' to planet
Oil industry

Shell consultant quits with explosive LinkedIn post accusing oil giant of 'extreme harms' to planet

A man who built a wooden house on a London pavement has now been given a place to stay
Homelessness

A man who built a wooden house on a London pavement has now been given a place to stay

How you can help boost bee and butterfly populations with a new government app
Biodiversity

How you can help boost bee and butterfly populations with a new government app

Most Popular

Read All
Homeless man who built wooden house on pavement: 'People understand I'm just in a bad situation'
1.

Homeless man who built wooden house on pavement: 'People understand I'm just in a bad situation'

The remarkable rise of Ncuti Gatwa: From sofa surfing and Sex Education to Doctor Who
2.

The remarkable rise of Ncuti Gatwa: From sofa surfing and Sex Education to Doctor Who

Exclusive: The UK's rarest and most threatened wildlife sites are not being protected properly
3.

Exclusive: The UK's rarest and most threatened wildlife sites are not being protected properly

Martin Lewis: 'The link between money problems and mental health problems is just so strong'
4.

Martin Lewis: 'The link between money problems and mental health problems is just so strong'

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.