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Mental health support for veterans, their families and carers

The stress and trauma associated with serving in the armed forces can impact on your mental health. Support is available from a range of services in the region which provide mental health support for veterans and their families.

Local Support and Advice

Royal British Legion runs a pop in centre for Service personnel, veterans and their families. You can get practical help and advice and find out about the wide range of services and community activities provided by the Legion.

Combat Stress offer a 24 hour helpline for veterans and their families, to give advice on mental health and where to get help from.

Forward Assists’ peer led support groups and structured diversionary activities provide a service that reduces social isolation and promotes community engagement with other veterans on a daily or weekly basis. Forward Assist, helps individuals to navigate and access the multitude of organisations and services available to them in the civilian community whilst using activities and vocational skills based projects that enable veterans to gain nationally accredited qualifications.

Joining Forces is an Age UK supported service for veterans.

SSAFA helps those who currently serve and those who have served in our Armed Forces and their dependant families. They can obtain assistance in the form of grants if needed and signpost people to organisations who help with housing, debt advice, training and mental health problems.

Veterans at Ease is a north east based charity helping veterans and their families deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other combat stress related issues. The charity is run by veterans for veterans. Veterans at ease operate from two locations – one office in Durham and the other office based at Jarrow Hall. They also offer an outreach service to veterans that don’t have the resources to travel.

Veterans’ Transition Intervention and Liaison Service is a mental health and wellbeing service to support veterans, their families and carers living in the North East of England. It provides a single point of access to the range of mental health support services which already exist across the region, making it easier to get signposted to the right help and support. VWALS also provide a wellbeing group for families and carers of serving military and veterans. Veterans and their families can access VWALS directly themselves or may be referred from their GP or another health, social care or third sector service.

North East Counselling Services delivers counselling services to carers and veterans across the North East.

Other Useful Information

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust  provides NHS mental health, learning disability and specialist services across Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.  They also have a number of mental health self help guides

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) offers immediate support to men who are down or in crisis. They offer confidential, anonymous and free support and signposting to men anywhere in the UK. Their website provides information and hosts a webchat service and a private online forum for those bereaved by suicide and would like to talk to others who have gone through the same experience.

ABF The Soldier’s Charity can provide grants to pay for support for wellbeing of veterans or their carers.

You might also like to consider mindfulness therapy.

Last updated: September 3, 2020