Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress to host business symposium

A century of Veteran mental health, the advancements in treatment and the changing attitudes towards employing Veterans is the focus of this year’s free-to-attend Military Mind business symposium presented by Combat Stress. The symposium will be held from 9am to 2.30pm on 23 May at 1599 at The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Sponsored by Thales, Military Mind will explore the value that former servicemen and women add to an organisation’s productivity and the practical ways that companies can ensure the workplace wellbeing of their veteran and reservist employees.  The event will centre on what support companies can implement, regardless of their size or sector. 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 present methods that businesses have used to create a supportive environment for veterans and reservists at work.

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said:

“Former servicemen and women bring enormous value to the workplace. This symposium will help responsible businesses build and enhance their workplace wellbeing programmes for their veteran and reservist workforce.

“Through this symposium we will explore practical ways companies can create effective, well-being support initiatives in the workplace. Our aim is to ensure employers are fully equipped to support their former service employees.”

Mike Seabrook, UK Company Secretary of Thales, said:

“Studies have found that 33 productive days are lost per year to moderate to severe depression by the 5.6% of employees that suffer from it – regardless of whether they are ex-forces. This drops to only 2 days if they no longer suffer from depression – a huge difference.

“Thales know that veterans can mean good business – ex forces’ training and skills are transferable to the workplace and companies like Thales are lucky enough to benefit from this huge pool of talent. It makes good business sense to build comprehensive and effective wellbeing programmes to support all employees and focus on the needs of specific groups of employees, including veterans. We look forward to sharing where we are on our veterans programme journey and our experience at the symposium.”

For more information or to register to attend please contact Maggie Bennion, Senior Corporate Fundraising Officer, at or call 01372 587158 or visit our website.

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

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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