Armed Forces Networks
Nine regional Networks, closely aligned to the military regional structures, meet regularly to ensure close collaborative work between local and regional people (those commissioning, delivering, supporting or caring) in the NHS, Ministry of Defence (MoD), local authorities and service charities. Their aims are to:
- discuss, debate and develop how each AFN supports and can deliver appropriate care in the local regionto the Armed Forces community including dependants, reservists and veterans.
- to inform and feedback to NHS England, Department of Health and MoD (Defence Medical Service and Personnel Welfare) on their approach to delivery of health and mental health care to Armed Forces community
- link closely to the National Veterans Mental Health Network
The lead area teams currently have the details of their respective regional Armed Forces Networks and welcome inclusion from all interested parties.
National Veterans Mental Health Network
Ten ‘veterans teams’ have spent the last three years helping ex-Armed Forces personnel get mental healthcare quickly and easily.
These NHS-funded teams, set up in 2010, see around 3,500 people a year and make sure veterans and their families get the right treatment – be that from a GP, hospital, mental health service or other charities. With the development of this National Veterans Mental Health Network, more mental health professionals within the NHS who understand the nature of service life are now able to support veterans in accessing the care and support they need. NHS England welcomes the opportunity to ensure no ex-serviceman or woman is disadvantaged and we continue to develop veteran-specific services.
Further details can be found on NHS Choices website.
Veterans who have had mental health issues post-Service are also able to get support through the Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme (VRMHP) based in Nottinghamshire:
DCMH Chetwynd Barracks
Helpline: 0800 0326258
This MoD service provides mental health assessments for those veterans and reservists deployed since 1982.
There are other access points available such as:
- the Combat Stress, national helpline: 0800 138 1619.
- the free Veterans Mental Health App (search Apple or android store for this title) includes help and guidance on key mental help conditions and also features videos of veterans telling their own stories about their mental health problems and journeys to recovery.
- the Big White Wall to “talk and share” online.