Struggling with your health? The NHS provides a range of dedicated veterans health services.

Struggling with your health? The NHS provides a range of dedicated veterans health services.

Off By Civvy Street

Over the last few years, the NHS has made significant improvements in the care it provides veterans and their families. As a result, there are now dedicated veterans health services for physical and mental health problems that are available across England.  These services, which have been developed with veterans and their families, work with a number of military charities to offer a wide range of specialist treatment and support.

One such charity is Fighting with Pride, which is working with the NHS to support the LGBT+ veteran community, ensuring care is inclusive and considerate of their experiences and needs.

Craig Jones MBE, Joint Chief Executive of the LGBT+ military charity Fighting with Pride and NHS England and NHS Improvement Armed Forces patient and public voice representative, tells us more:

“It’s been 21 years since the ‘ban’ on the service of LGBT+ personnel was lifted and today we live in enlightened times, when LGBT+ members of the Armed Forces are welcome.  We are pleased that we are a significant part of this change, however, it is incredible to see how recently life for LGBT+ members was so very different.  

Veterans services are awakening to the historic challenges faced by LGBT+ veterans.  The NHS, service charities and support organisations are working with Fighting with Pride, to help this lonely and isolated veteran group step forward for support.  

In particular, Fighting with Pride are working with Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service to lend our lived experience of the former ban and its impact; opening doors of enlightenment to the historic pressures faced by LGBT+ veterans in their service lives and beyond. 

We are raising awareness and a new understanding of the courage of this veteran community and helping to change outcomes for them. In the process of being discharged from the Armed Forces, many LGBT+ individuals faced disproportionate traumas and moral injury and decades later, the impact of this historic hurt still endures – not just at a personal and private level.  

Caroline Paige and I are proud to lead Fighting with Pride, which, with the support of NHS England and NHS Improvement, and NHS trusts across the UK, is raising awareness in hundreds of organisations of the support needs of all veterans inclusive of those in underrepresented communities.  We are one military family and that family grows more inclusive day by day.” 

Craig Jones MBE
Fighting with Pride Joint Chief Executive with Caroline Paige

www.fightingwithpride.org.uk

For details on NHS services for veterans, visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/armedforceshealth
For more information on Op COURAGE, visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/opcourage

About Op COURAGE
Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is the new overarching name for the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS).  This new name was developed by the Armed Forces community to make it easier for those leaving the military and veterans to find help.  The services themselves have not changed.