Armed forces veterans will benefit from additional mental health support backed by £2.7 million for Op COURAGE – the Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid this week announced an expansion of services to support those experiencing complex mental and/or physical trauma, or alcohol and substance misuse.
Dedicated care co-ordinators will be appointed to act as a single point of contact to better support veterans with complex mental and physical trauma. They will help them to navigate the health and care system, consult with health and care professionals, with the ultimate aim of reducing suicide rates within the veteran community.
Anyone in the UK or overseas can also contact the Veterans’ Gateway helpline on 0808 802 1212, or visit the website here for advice and signposting to further support, including for families and the bereaved
Richard Fuller, MP for North East Bedfordshire said:
Our Armed Forces and veterans represent the very best of us, and recent events in Afghanistan have been yet another reminder of their dedication and sacrifice as many of our people experienced things they will never forget. This new funding will ensure support is in place where it is needed most, recognising the unique challenges veterans face.
The additional funding builds on the significant mental health support provided by NHS England in recognition of the unique needs of veterans and the challenges they face, including through the Veterans’ Trauma Network and Op COURAGE which has already received over 16,000 referrals to date.
It is estimated 38,000 members of the armed forces community, including veterans, suffer from alcohol and substance misuse. The funding will ensure dedicated substance misuse services are integrated as part of Op COURAGE, making it as easy as possible to access support.