These notes have been prepared to help you during the time that your serving family member is away on an operational deployment. A guide alone will never replace the vital part that your family and friends can play in supporting you through what may be a difficult and at times lonely period. Remember that RAF welfare support, in one form or another, can extend to everyone; spouse, civil partner, partner, mother, father, son or daughter, you all have someone to turn to and a list of useful phone numbers and websites is included in the guide. So read on and use what you feel you need.
This notes focuses on spouses and civil partners. However parents of single RAF personnel and single partners may also find it useful both as a reminder to put things in order before deployment and as a guide of where to turn to for help. Not all of the information here will be relevant to everybody – but keep it handy (perhaps by the phone) in case you need it later.
Start by writing down the details on of the serving person going away as you will need them nearly every time you make a phone call about them to someone in the RAF.
Before the serving person leaves you should be contacted by your nominated Unit Point of Contact who should be your first point of contact for most matters.
No one wants you to feel isolated whilst your loved one is away. Your friends and family will probably be your strongest support network, however, if you have any issues you feel unable to handle, or you just need to talk, please remember that there is always someone in the RAF or its support services you can turn to for advice and support.
Focus on Children and Young People
Supporting children and young people during periods of deployment can be especially challenging. There is now a booklet with children and young people as a focus and it is hoped that this work will assist in helping you to help them cope with deployment.
To view the leaflet Supporting Children and Young People During Periods of Deployment
Focus on the Family Member Going on Deployment
www.battlemind.co.uk is a website created by the Kings College London and is part of a suggested training package for those going away. On the site there is also a useful booklet on deployment aimed at the Service member of the family going away and could be well worth a read.