Sometimes the experiences people have during their military service or after their transition to civilian life can trigger problems with their mental health and well-being. These can include anxiety, depression, a problem with controlling anger, alcohol and drug misuse, sleep problems, problems with adjustment and post traumatic stress disorder. Such issues may present many years after leaving the Armed Forces. Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is here to help military veterans including reservists understand those issues and help people to address them.
We have appointed a post within the Trust to lead on Veterans’ mental health practice development and to enhance staff capability within this arena. An understanding of military culture and the mental health issues some military veterans may face will enable staff throughout the Trust to help those who have served in the HM Armed Forces address any mental health difficulties they may have.
For professional advice please contact Anna Burke, Veterans Nurse Consultant, Military Veterans Mental Health on 0191 4415974 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A range of self help guides and useful information is also available in the Patient Information section of the Trust’s website at www.ntw.nhs.uk/
Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service
NHS England has launched a brand new mental health service, known officially as the NHS transition, intervention and liaison (TIL) veterans’ mental health service. It has been specially tailored to support and treat ex-armed forces veterans and service personnel who are approaching discharge and provides a range of treatment and support. 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.
Available across England, service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will be able to either self-refer or request referral via their GP or mental health provider or through a military charity like Combat Stress, the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes and SSAFA
The three main elements of the service are as follows:
Transition (service for those leaving the armed forces):
The service will work with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to offer mental health support for armed forces personnel approaching discharge.
Intervention (service for veterans with complex mental health issues):
Service personnel approaching discharge and veterans will have an assessment and if their needs are identified as more complex, they will be offered an appointment at the TIL veterans’ mental health service. This will be with a clinician who has an expert understanding of armed forces life and culture. They may also be supported by a care coordinator who will liaise with other services and organisations to ensure a coordinated approach to their care.
Liaison (general service for veterans):
Patients who do not have complex presentations, yet would benefit from NHS care, will be referred into local mainstream NHS mental health services where they will receive treatment and support.
Anyone wishing to access the service should call 0191 441 5974
Links to useful websites
Combat Stress – www.combatstress.org.uk
Royal British Legion – www.britishlegion.org.uk
SSAFA – www.ssafa.org.uk
Veterans UK – www.veterans-uk.info
How to get Referred
Any referral accepted. Please telephone 0191 441 5974 or email email@example.com