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Working on your wellbeing Army life can seem like an endurance test, particularly if you’re new to it, so looking after your mental health is key. Jill Misson reports…


ELL, you must have known what you were letting yourself in for when you married a soldier.” How many times have you heard that old chestnut? People have no idea what a culture shock it can be. Army spouse Katie Mills recalled: “I was not prepared, and my mind was in turmoil. I didn’t understand the lingo and had so many questions. The worst part is when your partner is away and you’re

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staring at the blank walls of your new home trying to comprehend the world you’re now part of.”

WHEN WORRIES ESCALATE Practical information is often easy to access by asking a neighbour, reading a hand-out or popping into the HIVE. Other concerns are more personal, as AFF’s Wiltshire Co-ordinator Carol Morris explained: “There’s a sense of the unknown. Will I make new

friends? Can we cope on one wage until I find a job? “Some find the lifestyle claustrophobic and feel that everyone on the patch knows their business.” For 18-year-old Anastasia Cuthbertson, the first posting a long way from home has been hard. She said: “I gave up my education so we could be together as a family. It has been character-building, but I can’t finish my studies because of the cost of childcare.” Anastasia relies on her local

friends for guidance, which is very common according to Carol: “The majority of young spouses will ask someone they met at the school gate or at a coffee morning and some may post on social media. “Sometimes they don’t have the confidence to approach their welfare team or don’t want to be seen as a welfare case.”

SEEK HELP The charity Home-Start has a long record of working with @ArmyandYou

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Army&You Spring 2019