Veterans Information CIC, based in Tameside, provides a safe space for veterans to share their stories, receive emotional support and be signposted to any other services they may need.
Veterans Information’s primary aim is a single point of contact where veterans, serving soldiers, and their families can access a wide variety of services and information that can support them to lead fulfilling and independent lives, with a particular focus on mental health issues and employment and education. The group has been working in the veteran’s sector in various voluntary roles for the last four years and is made up of ex-military individuals. They have links with veterans’ homeless charities and other veterans’ charities that offer help and support.
Many veterans suffer depression and have mental health issues, and releasing the internal chatter at Veterans Information helps individuals to focus on moving forward, looking at employment and changing their lives and the lives of their families.
Attendees of Veterans Information have talked to many veterans and they all suffer from hyper-vigilance, a feeling of being aware of everything in the environment as a constant possible threat. Because of this they have researched the use of flotation therapy – an experience similar to deep meditation – where everything is slowed down and the veterans feel relaxed. Their internal chatter, fears and concerns disappear. Many veterans suffer stress and anxiety once back in wider society, and flotation tanks can help the individuals cope with these feelings. The uniqueness of this treatment is that every veteran experiences different feelings as they are weightless, which also reduces tense and tight feelings on their joints – specifically in the pelvic, lower back, shoulders and neck area, which are all areas which have pressure on them in the field of battle.
One attendee that tried the therapy said: “I have had difficulties sleeping for a number of years and have tried nearly everything on the market. Five years ago, I resided myself to the fact that that is how I am! Flotation sessions up to now have been the only thing that has helped greatly.”
Another added: “After my flotation session I felt very calm and relaxed. I felt it allowed me to be mindful and after clearing my head of unwanted thoughts it allowed me to think with more clarity… This has been a most memorable experience for me. I would never have thought of entering a flotation pod in all my life, but I came away with a desire that I will definitely return. I no longer felt stressed and it’s also eased my anxiety.”