Mental Health | Supporting children and young people from serving and veteran families across Scotland

We are looking at the impact the COVID-19 Pandemic has had on our mental health and what Forces Children Scotland is doing to support children and young people from serving and veteran families across Scotland.

This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week concerns loneliness, which is something we have all felt during these unprecedented times. We had to overcome strong feelings when it came to missing friends and family as well as doing many of the things we enjoyed in our local communities.

For some children and young people from serving and veteran families, isolation proved a familiar feeling, even prior to the Pandemic. Many things like regular relocations, disrupted education and friendships and the deployment of loved ones on operations can all have an effect on feeling this way.

That’s why we want to take this opportunity to talk about how Forces Children Scotland works directly with children and young people from serving and veteran families to co-produce projects and services which can help to overcome isolation and other challenges to mental health and wellbeing.

For others, the pandemic provided the first time children and young people felt a real sense of isolation from friends, family routine and activities for the first time in their lives, many of whom turned to digital means to continue with their schooling and so many other things during that time.

Your Mind Matters Project

We have received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to co-produce digital and face-to-face mental health and wellbeing services. We have launched face-to-face support services in the West of Scotland and our digital resource platform will launch in June 2022.

The Lighthouse Project

We have received funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and ABF: The Soldier’s Charity to deliver a pilot mental health project at Queen Victoria School, which is a boarding school for young people from serving and veteran families.

The project was borne out of consultation with pupils, many expressing a need for specific support to be established within the school. Having listened to pupils, the pilot project will deliver one-to-one, peer support and mentorship services, as well as facilitate creative and sporting therapeutic activities.

To learn more about Forces Children Scotland’s mental health and wellbeing services, email wellbeing@forceschildrenscotland.org.uk