NHS mental health services for veterans

Mental illness is common and can affect anyone, including serving and ex-members of the armed forces and their families. While some people cope by getting support from their family and friends, or by getting help with other issues in their lives, others need clinical care and treatment, which could be from the NHS, support groups or charities.

Although it’s completely normal to experience anxiety or depression after traumatic events, this can be tough to deal with. Furthermore, the culture of the armed forces can make seeking help for a mental health problem appear difficult.

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NHS England to transform mental health care for military veterans across the country

Hundreds of military veterans are set to benefit from a nationwide scheme to tackle the most complex mental health needs of ex-armed forces personnel, launched today (Sunday) by NHS England.

The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service has been designed after veterans and their families from across England were invited to tell the NHS how services would work best for them.

Backed by £3.2m of funding a year, the new service aims to help 450 veterans every year and will include help for substance misuse, physical health, employment, accommodation, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma focused therapies.

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Step into Health – delivering opportunities for the Armed Forces community

Step into Health is an initiative which seeks to connect employers in the NHS to people from the Armed Forces community. There is a large population of working age veterans in the UK and this programme is designed to support employers in recruiting from this community and to promote the NHS as an employer of choice. The Armed Forces community includes those at various stages of their career, veterans who may have served for any length of time and their spouses and dependants looking to establish themselves within the sector.

Employers are being asked to make a series of pledges to enable individuals and supporting organisations to discover and take up opportunities for employment and training including apprenticeships.

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NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service

As plans progress to launch the new Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (VMH CTS) across England on 1 April 2018, NHS England has appointed the following providers:

-Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (covering Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and the South West of England)
-Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (covering South East of England and London)
-Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (covering the North of England).
The provider(s) for the Midlands and East of England will be announced over the next few weeks.

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