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.

The majority of service personnel make a successful transition to civilian life after leaving the Armed Forces. However, a significant minority can struggle due to mental health conditions including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety. With the right support they can lead fulfilling lives and bring great value to the workplace.

Experts in the field of military mental health, as well as those in the corporate sector who employ veterans, will join clinical specialists from Combat Stress to explain the opportunities and challenges for businesses with employees who have served in the Armed Forces.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: “Earlier this year Prime Minister Theresa May used her first policy announcement to call for more to be done to support mental wellbeing in the workplace, noting that it improves motivation, reduces sick leave and drives better productivity.

“Veterans bring enormous value to the workplace but some can require additional support due to their mental health. It can be difficult for employers to know what help is available and how to access it. Through this symposium we will educate businesses about the range of mental health services veterans can refer to, and thereby ensure employers are fully equipped to support their ex-service employees.”

Thales UK, a leader in Aerospace, Defence, Security and Transportation, and part of Thales Group, is sponsoring the symposium.  Mike Seabrook, Company Secretary of Thales in the UK, said: “We know from our own experience that veterans can be a great asset to the workforce. This symposium is a chance for business leaders to hear about the advantages of hiring veterans and learn about the issues they may come up against from those transitioning to civilian roles, while also gaining valuable insight into the support available to them.”

The Military Mind symposium will take place from 9am to 2.30pm at 1 America Square, London EC3. The event is free. Speakers include:

  • Dr Walter Busuttil: Director Medical Services at Combat Stress
  • Dr Dominic Murphy: Senior Clinical Lecturer at Combat Stress
  • Professor Sir Simon Wessely: President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists; Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; and Trustee of Combat Stress
  • Dr Robin Cordell: Consultant Occupational Physician and Medical Director
  • Professor Don Richardson: Consultant Psychiatrist, Canadian Psychiatric Association and Canadian Veterans Affairs Advisory Group
  • Chris Readman: Veteran and Lead Service Manager at IBM

You can register to attend by contacting Garry Burns, Corporate Fundraising Officer, on, 01372 587 158 or visit


For more information please contact Nicola Hudson, PR and Communications Officer, on 01372 587165 / 07711 590259 or at

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans. Founded in 1919, our work is as vital today as it was after the First World War.

More than 6,000 veterans across the UK are registered with us. Demand for our services is rising – between 2010/11 and 2015/16 we had almost 10,000 referrals, an increase of 71%.

On average it takes 12 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 Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are coming to Combat Stress much sooner, within four and two years respectively.

We treat conditions including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. To help veterans rebuild their lives, we provide a range of free services:

  • Short-stay clinical treatment at one of our treatment centres in Ayrshire, Shropshire and Surrey
  • A specialist PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme – run at our three treatment centres
  • Outpatients – assessment by psychiatrists and psychologists enables us to diagnose, define and deliver the treatment veterans require
  • Occupational therapy – using meaningful and creative activity to encourage hope, wellbeing and recovery
  • Community Teams – a UK-wide network of Community Teams providing treatment and practical support to veterans
  • Reserve Forces Liaison Team – working directly with reservists and military staff, raising awareness of mental health issues in the Reserve Forces
  • 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
  • A 24-hour Helpline for veterans, serving personnel and families (0800 138 1619)

Useful links

Our website:
On Twitter: @CombatStress
On Facebook:
On LinkedIn:

Combat Stress, Registered Charity 206002; Registered Charity in Scotland SCO38828; Company Ltd by guarantee: 256353.

About Thales

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With more than 22,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design and deploy equipment, systems and services to meet the most complex security requirements. Its exceptional international footprint allows it to work closely with its customers all over the world. 

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Afghanistan support

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