STEPWAY supports all veterans in civilian life. This is achieved by providing the following services at the Wellbeing Centre.
Drop-In Centre . A place to join in and make new friends, relax, and enjoy, throughout the day, includes in-house counselling, mentors and caseworkers for advice, guidance, and advocacy. Different activities are introduced weekly to involve veterans who struggle with communication, anxiety, and self-esteem. The drop-in was pivotal for mental well-being, reducing loneliness and isolation.
The Outdoor Community Project where the veteran and their families are all welcome. STEPWAY recognise outdoor projects play an integral part in veterans mental well-being and health, a healthy body is a healthy mind.
The 7-Step Civilian Skills program for veterans who require additional support. This programme helps to empower the veteran with coping mechanisms to adapt to civilian life and raise mental health awareness.
The Therapy Unit will offer therapeutic group sessions to support veterans who have mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, dementia and suicidal thoughts. Working with our partners’ NHS Veteran Mental Health TILS program creating a framework with service users utilising their knowledge and experience to assist in the veteran’s recovery.
How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?
To contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it STEPWAY understands it is fundamental that any strategy which seeks to combine knowledge, expertise and resources work collectively.
STEPWAY will always continue to….
Empower veterans in the community to acknowledge, talk about and address their mental health issues, including signposting them to the relevant health professionals.
Remove Stigma by encouraging to talk more openly.
Provide programmes of training and support to enable individuals to overcome personal barriers.
Work with strategic partners in raising awareness, tackling deprivation and promoting the mental health and wellbeing of veterans across the West Midlands.
Develop volunteers, to ensure sustainability of support.
Improve social support, inclusion and reduce exclusion.
What are your current priorities?
STEPWAY’s current priorities are both additional and complimentary to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of interventions aimed at the hard to reach veterans that are most at risk and avoiding duplication The impact is to make significant contribution providing direct support to veterans who are at considerable risk of suicide.
What challenges are you currently facing?
COVID-19, lock-down restrictions and an increased demand for mental health support have been huge challenges for the charity. We have responded to the challenge by adapting our working practices in order to ensure that our work can continue. Initiatives STEPWAY introduced were to continue our mental health and basic life skills course online, online counselling sessions, extended opening times, delivering food/care parcels to the most vulnerable. STEPWAY will continue supporting veterans in building relationships with the wider community, bridging the gap, and improving mental and physical wellbeing.