In 2018 a newly commissioned mental health service has been specially tailored to support and treat ex-Armed Forces veterans and service personnel who are approaching discharge.
The service is available across England to service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will be able to either self-refer or request a referral via their GP or service charity, such as the Defence Medical Welfare Service, Combat Stress, the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and SSAFA. An initial face to face assessment will be offered within two weeks of a receipt of referral and where appropriate a first clinical appointment two weeks later.
These services have been designed to recognise the early signs of mental health problems and provide access to early treatment and support as well as therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma. Patients are also provided with help, where appropriate, with employment, reduction in alcohol consumption, housing and social support.
There are 3 elements to the service:
- Transition (service for those leaving the Armed Forces). Working with the Ministry of Defence to offer mental health support for Armed Forces personnel approaching discharge.
- Intervention (service for veterans with complex mental health issues) Service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will have an assessment within 2 weeks of receipt of a referral. If their needs are complex, they will be offered an appointment 2 weeks after at the TILs veterans’ mental health service. This will be with a clinician who has an expert understanding of armed forces life and culture. They may be supported by a care co-ordinator who will liaise with other services and organisations to ensure a co-ordinated approach to care.
- Liaison (general service for veterans). Patients who do not have complex mental health problems, yet would benefit from NHS care will be referred into local mainstream NHS mental health services where they will receive treatment and support.
Information can be found on NHS Choices
In the South Central and South West of England, call 0300 365 0300 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire) or
email@example.com (Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Bristol, Devon, Somerset, Cornwall and Isle of Scilly)
Access criteria for the service as a veteran, Patients must:
- Be a resident in England
- Have served in the UK Armed Forces for a full day
- Be registered with a GP in England or be willing to register with a GP
- Be able to provide their military service number or another form of acceptable proof of eligibility.