Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress appoints new Director of Operations

Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress has appointed a new Director of Operations to lead the delivery of the charity’s services across the UK.

Dr Felix Davies joins the charity at the start of July having previously worked as Service Director at St Andrew’s Healthcare, and prior to that as Chief Operating Officer at Tracscare (now Accomplish).

Dr Davies’ started out in the NHS as a clinical psychologist before moving into management roles within the NHS, charity and private sectors. His roles covered a broad range across health and social care including clinical, operational and commercial leadership positions within secure and acute hospitals, and community, residential care and supported living services.

A strong supporter of the military covenant, Dr Davies previously led psychological services for serving personnel at an NHS trust. Keen to once again work with those who have served their country, Dr Davies was drawn to work for Combat Stress.

He said:

“Combat Stress has a significant history and heritage of supporting veterans over the past 100 years, as well as positive values and a commitment to providing high quality and specialist clinical services to veterans. I very much believe in the importance of serving those who have served us.”

Combat Stress’ Chief Executive Sue Freeth said:

“I’m delighted to welcome Dr Davies to the charity. He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that will be an invaluable addition to the world-renowned care and support that Combat Stress provides to veterans with mental health problems.”

Dr Davies’ qualifications include BA (Hons) Psychology, MPhil Criminology, Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Postgraduate Diploma in Health and Social Care Management.

Notes to editors:

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

For a century we’ve helped former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health issues like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Each year we see an average of 2,000 referrals. Demand for our services continues to grow – in the last ten years we’ve a 97% increase in referrals.

On average it takes 13 years after leaving the military for veterans to contact Combat Stress for help, by which time their condition is often highly complex. However, veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts are coming to Combat Stress much sooner (four and six years respectively).

To help veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services:
• Short-stay clinical treatment at our treatment centres in Ayrshire and Surrey
• A specialist PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme – delivered at our treatment centres
• Occupational therapy – delivered at our treatment centres and in the community, we use meaningful and creative activity to encourage hope, wellbeing and recovery
• Outpatients – assessment by psychiatrists and psychologists – at our treatment centres and in the community – enables us to diagnose, define and deliver the treatment veterans require
• Community Teams – providing treatment and practical support to veterans. Last year our regional community teams undertook almost 5,400 face-to-face appointments
• Peer Support Service – Led by veterans for veterans, it’s the first UK-wide service of its kind for those with mental health problems. The service enables them to share their experiences, receive support and socialise with others with similar experiences.
• Substance Misuse Case Management Service – helping veterans to access the services for their drug and alcohol problems so their mental health issues can be addressed
• We have a 24-hour Helpline available to veterans and their families (0800 138 1619) and to serving personnel and their families (0800 323 4444)

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