Armed Forces Mental Health High Impact Service

LTP Priority: Wider Social Impact: Veterans Health and armed forces Interventions

Population Intervention Triangle: Segments (link to Section 1 PHE PBA): Service

Type of Interventions: Armed Forces Mental Health High Impact Service

Major driver of health inequalities in your area of work

A small cohort of people are transitioning from the armed forces back to civilian life with significant and highly complex mental health conditions.  They are doing so without the level of care, support and treatment they need.  This has a significant impact on their own wellbeing, the wellbeing of families and carers and on services which include urgent and emergency care services and primary care services.  For some, it also heightens the risk of involvement in criminal activity.   This cohort of people have long term needs for support in substance use avoidance, family support and maintaining their own wellness which existing mental health services, TILS and CTS are unable to meet.

We anticipate from our initial scoping work that there is a cohort of approximately 50 veterans with highly complex conditions transitioning annually who are not getting access to the level of service they need.

Target groups

Deprivation, Inclusion health group, Protected characteristics.


Armed Forces Mental Health High Impact Service.


  • In partnership with the third sector and engagement with those with lived experience of life in the armed forces, co-develop an integrated High Impact service for those with the highest and most complex mental health needs
  • Ensure appropriate referral mechanisms are in place to refer patients between existing TILS and CTS services according to individual need
  • This investment is to be seen as in the long term a cost saving supporting better living choice, admission avoidance and crime reduction. [Andy Bacon] This will respond to externally funded pilot studies and co-funding is being sought from third sector organisations and is a high profile area of need.[Andy Bacon] It is expected that the impact will be of benefit to a small number of those with long term mental health conditions – which are currently not managed well over the long term.

Successful delivery of the HIS service and realisation of positive outcomes for patients, efficiencies and integration across the system are dependent on links to the Mental Health Five Year forward View as well as a number of related services. It is particularly important that mechanisms which allow referral and flow between services are in place to ensure patients receive the right level of care and support dependent on the severity of their mental illness and at the right time. Services include:

  • IAPT
  • TILS
  • CTS
  • Interface with crisis care at Tier 4
  • Interface with secondary care services
  • Interface with urgent and emergency care services.

Delivery and continuous improvement of the High Impact Service will be reliant on contribution and support from advocacy and third sector organisations and those with lived experience of armed forces life.


Evidence impact:

  • Access to services that deal with highly complex mental health needs
  • Better access to dedicated care and support
  • Improvement in medical care and treatment
  • Reduction in time treatment, referral to trauma informed crisis care and access to related services
  • Better access to local services for families
  • Connecting those in transition from the armed forces back into civilian life with health services will help to enable them to ensure they maintain and continue to improve their own health
  • Support to take greater personal responsibility for healthcare needs
  • Improvements in health seeking behaviour for those in transition
  • Peer support and encouragement for those leaving the armed forces to have contact with people with their own experience and who understand each other’s culture
  • Increased support to local IAPT, TILS and CTS services
  • Reduction in stigma associated with armed forces cultures
  • It may also be possible to expect (difficult to measure) reductions in suicide death attempts
  • Better integration across the system