Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress hosts business symposium

Hosted by Combat Stress, the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, this year’s Military Mind business symposium, sponsored by Thales focused on the mental health treatment and support available to veterans in employment.

The event, held on 9 May to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, was attended by 65 organisations interested in learning about the support they can offer veterans and the benefits employing them can bring.

The majority of service personnel make a successful transition to civilian life after leaving the Armed Forces. However, a small but 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, joined clinical specialists from Combat Stress to discuss the opportunities and challenges for businesses with employees who have served in the Armed Forces.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Military Mind business symposium, it was great to see so many different organisations at the event.

“There is a growing appreciation of the value veterans offer employers.  A small but significant minority may require additional support due to their mental health problems, however it can be difficult for employers to know what help is available and how to access it.  What we aim to do through events like this is to highlight the effective treatment out there.

“We hope that the organisations who attended this symposium feel better equipped to support their ex-service employees.”

Mike Seabrook, Company Secretary of Thales in the UK, said: “The Military Mind Symposium provided a great opportunity to reflect on the fact that meaningful work is good for mental health but also how much more needs be done for armed forces leavers themselves and in encouraging employers to consider hiring them.

“I particularly enjoyed the input and conversation about how we can collectively support veterans and reservists in the workplace.  The event left me inspired by the speakers and everyone that participated.

“At Thales, our veterans and reservists are a great asset and we go to great lengths to support all individuals with mental health issues.  We are proud to continue to sponsor Combat Stress and this important event.”


Notes to editors:

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.

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.

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
  • 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.


Our Executive Members

By @Cobseo 54 years ago

Afghanistan support

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