Are you struggling to cope? Are you brave enough to seek help? The NHS has dedicated veterans’ mental health services that are here to help. Mental illness is common and can affect anyone (even Serving and ex-members of the Armed Forces and their families). Whilst some people cope by getting support from their family and friends, or by getting help with other issues in their lives, others need clinical care and treatment.
If you think you or your partner/spouse may be experiencing mental health difficulties, you can get expert help from the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) or the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS). Both of these services are available across England and are provided by specialists in mental health who have an expert understanding of the Armed Forces. They will also help to manage your care and support across other organisations.
This is a dedicated local community-based service for Veterans and those transitioning out of the British Armed Forces with a discharge date.
The service provides a range of treatment, from recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early support, to therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma. Where appropriate, help is also provided with other needs that may affect mental health and wellbeing, for example housing, finances and employment, reducing alcohol consumption, and social support.
Launched in April 2018, this is an enhanced local community-based service for ex-Service personnel who have Military attributable complex mental health problems that have not improved with earlier care and treatment.
The service provides intensive care and treatment that may include (but is not limited to) support for substance misuse, physical health, employment, accommodation, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma-focused therapies.
Accessing NHS mental health care for Veterans
Access to both of these services is through the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service. This can be done by contacting the service direct (see contact details) or by asking your GP or a Military charity to refer you.
• If you live in the north of England, call: 0191 441 5974 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• If you live in the Midlands or East of England, call: 0300 323 0137 or email: email@example.com
• If you live in London or the south east of England, call: 020 3317 6818 or email: cim-tr.veteranstilservice-lse@
Families and carers can find it hard to cope when their loved ones aren’t well, so where appropriate, help may be provided to them too.
It is important to register with an NHS GP and tell them that you have Served in the Armed Forces so, where appropriate, you can access these and other dedicated services for Veterans.
For more information on care and treatment for Veterans, visit NHS Choices at: www.nhs.uk and type in ‘veteran’.