Marking Remembrance Day
Written by WWTW Mental Health Therapist, Glen
As a mental health nurse and veteran, myself, it is important to look at the significance of Remembrance Day for veterans. It is a time of year that is likely to trigger a lot of memories and emotions both positive and negative for serving and ex-military personnel. Many of the service personnel and veterans I have met over the years attest to November being an emotional and difficult month.
It is a time of year to remember the fallen and the conflicts experienced, not only by service persons, but by their families as well who may have experienced life overseas, an absent parent or partner and concerns over whether the person will return. Although emotionally difficult, some may want to remember and pay respects and it allows them to spend time with the memories of people who may no longer be with us.
Click Therapies works closely with WWTW to support veterans and their families. During these times some may be more withdrawn or anxious and may behave differently to what you are used to. Some may be experiencing the intrusion of memories that can be distressing and distracting. If you are unsure of what to do here are some tips to help you support people at this time:
- Notice and acknowledge their experience and be there to support them. It is not a sign of weakness to find these experiences difficult and your company may be enough.
- Allow time and space to process these experiences.
- Support discussion if they wish to share their memories.
- Be aware that help is out there through Transition Intervention and Liaison Services (TiLS) and Walking With the Wounded (WWTW).
- Remember not all memories are bad and that someone who is withdrawn can be remembering poignant memories.
- We would not be human if we did not feel overwhelmed or sad during this time.
- Be proud, reflection is healthy. It’s important to remember and respect those who remember.