Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust is significantly increasing support for veterans and their families with the roll out of dedicated, new services this week to coincide with Remembrance Day.
These services are easy to access and led by dedicated mental health professionals working with peer support workers who are either from the Armed Forces Community or highly experienced in working with people from a military background. They will help veterans aged 18+ in Surrey and NE Hampshire to receive the right mental health support at the right time and follow our accreditation as a Veteran Aware Trust in 2020.
Our new High Intensity Service (HIS) works alongside existing mental health services to increase support for veterans who need urgent mental health support, and their families, and those already under the care of secondary services but who are finding it difficult to engage. It is part of Op COURAGE, the NHS’ Veterans’ Mental Health and Wellbeing pathway and is provided in partnership with third sector providers, Walking With The Wounded and All Call Signs. Veterans can refer themselves directly to HIS by completing a HIS self-referral form or they can be referred by a professional.
Veterans who are experiencing mental health difficulties but who do not need urgent support should get in touch with the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), also part of Op COURAGE. More information about HIS and TILS and how to self-refer can be found here: www.sabp.nhs.uk/veterans. HIS is not a crisis service. If a person is experiencing a mental health crisis, they should contact Surrey and Borders Partnership’s 24 Hour Mental Health Crisis Helpline on 0800 915 4644 or call 111. If immediate medical attention is needed, a person should call 999 or visit A&E.
We have also introduced the Veterans’ Covenant Service. This provides veterans under the care of our secondary services with expert help in preparing for discharge to support their long- term recovery. As well as providing tailored advice and support covering confidence building, goal setting and how to access peer support networks, the Veterans’ Covenant Service also supports a smooth transfer of care from secondary services back to the GP and provides veterans with an advocacy service in healthcare settings.