The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust (AFCFT) has awarded veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress £250,000 through the Covid-19 Impact Programme, a programme set up to ensure that the Armed Forces community can keep accessing important services, despite resources for these services impacted by the pandemic.
The AFCFT, comprising of the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and Cobseo representatives, awarded Combat Stress the grant to specifically fund the charity’s new digital platform for veterans.
The service aims to ensure inclusivity for veterans who are unable to access the charity’s crucial support in person due to the ongoing social distancing measures.
The platform will include self-help psychoeducation materials, aimed at keeping veterans in good mental and physical shape, and intensive psychological rehabilitation programmes delivered remotely, such as live group-based webinars and workshops, and 1:1 assessments and treatment. This will enable Combat Stress to support more veterans with complex mental health problems.
Originally due to launch over a nine-month period, the delivery of the project is being fast-tracked to help meet the urgent need for the charity to provide an in-depth and clinical service in a remote format. With veterans unable to receive the usual in-person treatment and support they need, they face uncertain and anxious times, which can put further strain on their mental health.
Dr Felix Davies, Director of Operations at Combat Stress, said:
“We knew digital services would play an important role in the future of Combat Stress; the benefits and demand for an inclusive service for veterans who cannot access support are clear.
“The need for such a service has become urgent during Covid-19, so we are extremely grateful that the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust recognised the importance of the digital aspect of our work with veterans. Their grant has enabled us to accelerate the delivery of our Digital Veterans’ Mental Health Service.”