A specialist mental health service for military veterans will officially launch next week with an event for key stakeholders, charities and service users. ‘Veterans in Mind’ offers bespoke mental health care and support to ex-service men and women in Cheshire and Merseyside (excluding Liverpool). The event will celebrate a new service brand which was developed in partnership with service users.
Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) was awarded the contract in November last year to provide mental health services for veterans in partnership with the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, Combat Stress and S.A.M.S (Support and Management Solutions) – Armed Forces Community Support Hub.
Veterans in Mind work collaboratively with veterans, or their loved ones to provide support and care with a focus on improving psychological wellbeing, increasing social networks and long- term recovery. Effective treatment is offered to those veterans who may be experiencing psychological affects resulting from their time as a serving armed forces member. These effects can include depression, anxiety and problems relation to personality issues.
Lucinda Bolger, Clinical Lead for Veterans in Mind said:
“As soon as you have served one day in the Armed Forces you are considered to be a veteran. Some of those veterans are able to adapt back into the community, where others need support in coming to terms with the impact of serving as a member of the Armed Forces.
“We understand that getting on the road to recovery involves more than just psychological help. We offer support to veterans with housing, financial, and social needs in order to assist our service users regain their confidence and adapt back into the community.
“We can work alongside our veterans in order to help them re-build relationships with their partners and families, if these relationships have suffered as a result of their military experience.
“Working in partnership with experts of veteran culture, our staff are able to relate to the unique experiences of people who have served as an armed forces member. We can provide the necessary interventions tailored to service users so that they receive the best package of care that is right for them.”
Paula Berry, Regional Operations Manager - Central at Combat Stress said:
“We’re delighted to be involved in this new service and think it will make a real difference to the support available to veterans in Cheshire and Merseyside. Our local community team will be working in partnership with Veterans in Mind to provide veterans with mental health issues the help and advice they need”
GMW has extensive experience of successful partnership working, delivering specialist care in mental health services spread over a large North West footprint. GMW were also one of the first mental health trusts to offer courses to service users, families and carers as part of their innovative Recovery Academy. The trust introduced a brand new course to its prospectus this year entitled ‘Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)’. This course enables people to learn more about the condition including learning about symptoms of the illness, types of interventions used and what support is available. According to Combat Stress, the complexity of this disorder is much greater in veterans compared to the general public. This course is a valuable resource for veterans and their loved ones who want to learn more about the disorder.