News

Paralympian Joe Townsend visits veterans’ mental health charity

Paralympian and former Royal Marine, Joe Townsend visited veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress last week at their Surrey based treatment centre to hand over the funds he raised for the charity.

Joe got involved with Combat Stress last year after taking part in the #22PushupChallenge, a viral social media campaign that aimed to raise awareness and support for veterans’ mental health. Putting his own spin on the challenge Joe completed an alternative type of push-up, called planche push-ups and encouraged supporters to donate by adding an extra push-up for every donation. On the final day of the challenge Joe completed over 100 push-ups, a personal best.

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A new online research resource on veterans’ health has just been launched

The Health of Veterans’ Research Team (HVRT) at King Edward VII’s (KEVII) Hospital is a new research group established to conduct literature reviews on veterans’ health. The HVRT has just launched their website which will act as an online research resource on veterans’ health by providing literature reviews, exclusive data, as well as news updates. Their website acts as a portal for sourcing information on the health of veterans, and also details more about the team and their current and future research projects. You can access it on https://hvrt-mac-veteranshealth.org/.

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Improving mental health services for veterans and armed forces personnel approaching discharge

NHS England has launched improved mental health services for veterans in response to a national engagement undertaken last year. The views of veterans and their families have helped to inform a service that builds on the success of previous provision and seeks to provide increased access to local care and treatment across the country in a more uniformed manner. This includes recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing 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.

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Forces Friends project recognised with FiMT sponsored national award

Forces Friends, a project providing support to older military veterans, has been awarded the Working Together Award, sponsored by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), at the Soldiering On national awards ceremony on Friday evening (24 March 2017) in London.

The annual Soldiering On Awards provide national recognition for exceptional individuals and organisations working within the Armed Forces Community, and is run by the Soldiering On Through Life Trust. The Working Together award, which recognises an organisation that has demonstrated a commitment to collaboration with the Armed Forces Community, is sponsored for the second time by FiMT

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Mission Motorsport – 5th Anniversary

In 2017, Mission Motorsport is celebrating its 5th Anniversary. The Forces’ Motorsport Charity was launched at Thruxton Motor Circuit in 2012 in order to help those affected by military operations by engagement through sport. Since its inception, the charity has seen impressive growth, and has delivered over 3000 training days of sport for over 850 beneficiaries, leading to over 200 placements, and nearly 90 jobs.

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Shell Shock – the play

Shell Shock is presented by Smokescreen Productions and supported by the Sussex Armed Forces Network, Anglia Ruskin University, Help For Heroes, Combat Stress and PTSD Resolution.

In the autumn of 2016 the Chancellor awarded this project a grant from the LIBOR fund to enable us to develop the production and embark on a number of venues in late spring / early summer 2017.

Shell Shock is one soldier’s story of coping with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, Tommy Atkins’ observations on life on civvy street are poignant, frequently comic and always moving. His over-emotional responses to post office queues, a trip to Ikea, his relationships and family lead to alienation and anger.

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DMWS’s affiliation with the Armed Forces Community recognised with prestigious visit from The Chief of the General Staff and Royal Patron

On Thursday 23 March, to mark the uniquely important role The Defence Medical Welfare Service plays in our society, they were delighted to welcome their Patron, Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex GCVO, The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen and The Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Mr Nigel Atkinson to the Charity’s Headquarters in Andover. The visit provided the perfect platform for highlighting the successes of the work undertaken and promoted the fantastic welfare support carried out every day. This is an organisation which is leading the way in professionalising the welfare space and which delivers an impact disproportionate to its size.

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Launch of new online resource challenges employers to think differently about taking on ex-Service personnel

The Poppy Factory – the charity that helps injured ex-Service men and women find work – has launched a new online toolkit for employers.

The Employer Toolkit, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), gives advice and guidance to employers, helping them to manage a workforce with complex health conditions – and aims to dispel the negative stereotypes of veterans and the problems they may face.

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Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress to host business symposium

Educating businesses about the mental health treatment and support available to the veterans they employ is the focus of this year’s The Military Mind business symposium, sponsored by Thales UK.

Hosted by Combat Stress, the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, the event on 9 May coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week and will explain how and why some ex-service personnel and reservists develop mental health issues, and what their employers can do to help support them at work.

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Afghanistan support

In light of recent events in Afghanistan, please find information and support resources here