As the UK marks World Mental Health Day, Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer is urging ex-service personnel to access the wide range of mental health support now on offer.
Over the last few years, government and the NHS has put in a range of support for veterans to ensure they can access the care they deserve.
In England this includes:
- The Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), an enhanced service for veterans which helps tackle early signs of mental health difficulties
- The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment service (CTS), which helps veterans who have complex mental health problems emanating from their military service
- Over 700 accredited ‘veteran friendly’ GP surgeries, which have been specially equipped to care for ex-forces personnel
- Over 40 Veteran Aware hospitals
The government also recognises that the point where individuals transition out of the armed forces is a key stage where people may require support.
Last year the MOD launched the Defence Transition Service, which provides bespoke support to service personnel at the stage where they are transitioning out of service.
This ensures that those who may be vulnerable as they move into civilian life receive tailored support.
The Veterans Gateway, funded by government and run by the Royal British Legion also provides a one stop shop for veterans to access support across a range of areas, including mental health support.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:
“As we mark World Mental Health Day, my message to anyone struggling is please seek the support you deserve.
“From the moment you transition out of the armed forces, support for veterans from the NHS and the brilliant armed forces charities is out there.
“But I recognise we need to do more and as Veterans Minister I will continue to ensure that veterans issues are at the heart of government policy.”
The work of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs includes:
- Pulling together all functions of government, and better coordinating charity sector provision, in order to ensure this nation’s life-long duty to those who have served
- Ensuring that every single veteran and their family knows where to turn to access support when required
- Helping to generate a ‘single view of the veteran’ by making better use of data to understand veterans’ needs and where gaps in provision exist
- Improving the perception of veterans