Dads, we are living through challenging and unpredictable times; the coronavirus pandemic has completely changed what we consider normal. With social distancing and lockdowns, we find ourselves in uncharted waters both as parents and people.
At times such as these, it’s important to remember that backup support is absolutely vital. It can take many different forms but at the root of it backup support means looking out for each other. Whether your backup support is your friends, family or Commanding Officer – you need to be able to rely on those around you – and to be able to be relied upon.
It’s certainly true that a problem shared is a problem halved, and I think we dads should remember this advice, and pass it on to our troopers – however young or old they may be. It is hard when you’re going through problems that you don’t feel like you can share with anyone else. It’s isolating. It can even push those closest away from us, right at the time when we need them most.
As a dad, it’s important to shield your troopers and, at times, put a brave face on. However you must keep the lines of communication open with your backup support and remember that you don’t have to put a brave face for them. Your backup is the people you can be completely honest with and who can be completely honest with you. That way, when problems arise – as they inevitably will – they can be tackled together.
It is critical that you continue to follow the government guidelines to maintain the health and wellbeing of your entire unit – and I am sure every Commando Dad is using his hour of exercise wisely, washing hands and only leaving Base Camp on essential sorties. However, don’t overlook your mental health, it is every bit as important as your physical health in order to be effective backup support for your Unit. If you do have concerns that you feel unable to share with your backup, there are support services out there that can help. I have included some of them below.
Being locked inside for weeks upon weeks can be incredibly mentally taxing for the troopers, so make sure they know that they can talk to you anytime day or night. An upbeat approach will do wonders for the Unit’s morale. If your troopers know they can come to you with any worries or concerns they’re having, it can really help make them more comfortable with their current situation.
Remember, we’re all in this together. You may be isolated but you’re not alone.
- Hub of hope – Is a national mental health database where you can find the nearest help and support by entering your postcode. www.hubofhope.co.uk
- Samaritans – Offer emotional support 24 hours a day, in full confidence. Call: 116 123. www.samaritans.org
- Mind Infoline – Provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9:00am to 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Call: 0300 123 3393. email@example.com
- Anxiety UK – Runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call: 08444 775 774. www.anxietyuk.org.uk
- MindEd – A free educational resource for children and young people’s mental health for all adults. www.minded.org.uk/