An Armed Forces charity has spoken out to remind service personnel support is at hand, after a soldier who served on the frontline in Afghanistan was found hanged at his Swansea home.
Trooper Robert Llewellyn Griffiths, of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, also known as the Welsh Cavalry, was discovered at the property in Oldway, Bishopston, on Saturday evening.
Leading charity SSAFA Forces Help, which provides financial, practical and emotional support to those who serve or have served in the Forces, told This is South Wales: “Being a member of the Armed Forces can be extremely stressful, especially for those who have returned from operational tours.
“Service personnel can often find themselves unable to find anyone to share their experiences with who understands what they have been through.
“SSAFA has a network of branches that can offer both practical and emotional support to individuals and their families.
“We also operate Forcesline, a completely confidential telephone and email support service that can be used by anyone associated with the military.
“Forcesline has trained staff who can guide those suffering from emotional trauma to getting appropriate care or simply be a listening ear for people.”
The spokesperson added: “SSAFA extends it sympathies to the family and friends of Trooper Robert Llewellyn Griffiths at what must be a very difficult time.”
A number of charities offer help and support to members and ex-members of the Armed Forces:
SSAFA Forces Help
SSAFA Forces Help provides direct financial, practical and emotional support to those currently serving in the Forces and to those who have served in the past. It also supports their families.
The charity hosts a number of support groups, provides mentoring and a health and social work service, and offers free, confidential and impartial guidance on housing matters.
It also provides a free and confidential helpline, completely independent of the military chain of command.
The experienced civilian staff at Forcesline provide a supportive, listening and signposting service, enabling callers to discuss worries and problems. Forcesline can be contacted on 0800 731 4880.
SSAFA Forces Help have a number of branches in Wales, the closest to Swansea being in Mid Glamorgan and Glamorgan West:
Tel: 01656 785 435
Tel: 01792 653 432
Tel: 0800 731 4880
Forcesline email facility (reply within 24 hours):
Forcesline freepost letter facility (reply within one week):
Address: Forcesline, FREEPOST, PO BOX 1312, Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 6NN
Absent Without Leave (AWOL) Line (confidential):
Tel: 01380 738137 (from 9 - 10am Monday to Friday; answering machine for call back outside these times)
To find out more about the charity, visit www.ssafa.org.uk.
Healing the Wounds
Healing the Wounds is a charity which supports sufferers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and offers support for this condition to serving personnel, Veterans and those who have suffered trauma from serving their community such as Police, Fire and Ambulance Services.
It also provides support to their families.
Based in Porthcawl, Bridgend, the charity provides a place for members of the Forces to receive support for PTSD and a place to recover.
The charity can be contacted via telephone: 01656 786380. (Out of Hours: Carol 07714 622328; Rachel 07514 299825).
The address is The Rest, Rest Bay, Porthcawl, County Borough of Bridgend, CF36 3UP.
To find out more, visit www.healingthewounds.co.uk.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity offers financial support to serving and retired soldiers and their families. It aims to get money to those in need within 24 hours of a grant being confirmed.
The money helps in various ways – debt relief, mobility assistance and home modifications, education bursaries, war widow and family financial support, and annuities and care home fees.
The charity can be contacted via telephone: 020 7901 8900; fax: 020 7901 8901 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more, visit www.soldierscharity.org.
Combat Stress specialises in the treatment and support of British Armed Forces Veterans who have mental health problems.
It helps those experiencing work or relationship problems, those who feel isolated, depressed or suicidal, and those who self-harm. It also helps those misusing alcohol, drugs or food.
Combat Stress offers a 24-Hour Helpline on 0800 138 1619.
Alternatively, contact the helpline via text message on 07537 404 719 (standard charges may apply for texts), or email email@example.com
A leaflet on what to do if you’re suffering can be downloaded here.
Or visit the website www.combatstress.org.uk.
Army Welfare Service
The Army Welfare Service provides professional and confidential welfare support service for servicemen and women and their families.
To contact the AWS, telephone 01980 615975 or 0800 032 6443. Alternatively, email AWS-Welfareinformationservice@mod.uk
To find out more, visit www.army.mod.uk.
Army Chaplaincy Support
Chaplaincy Support is available for all family members of service personnel and those dealing with casualties. This support is confidential and outside of the Chain of Command.
Chaplains provide support to all regardless of faith and can be contacted via the unit. To contact a Chaplain, email firstname.lastname@example.org.