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.

Your GP

Veteran Friendly GP Practices

GP practices that have agreed to become Veteran Friendly GP Practices follow guidelines and training to best support the armed forces veterans community. These include:

  • having a clinical lead for veteran health
  • asking patients ‘Have you served?’ to identify veteran patients
  • supporting veteran patients to access dedicated health services
  • specialist training to meet the health commitments of the Armed Forces Covenant

There are several veteran friendly GP practices in Newcastle:

You can find more information about veteran friendly practices on the Royal College of General Practitioners website.

Local support and advice

Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families. The North of England service can be contacted by phone on 0300 373 3332 or email [email protected]

Anxious Minds provides confidential support for people with mental health issues anxiety, depression, stress, abuse, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), grief and loss. They offer:

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. They offer an outreach service to veterans that don’t have the resources to travel.

Veterans’ Transition Intervention and Liaison Service (VWALS) 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.

Royal British Legion offer help, advice and community activities for veterans.

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.

Togetherall offers round-the-clock online support with trained counsellors, online forums to talk to others and free mental health resources. All armed forces serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families can access these services at any time.

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

WinG Outdoor activities run various outdoor activity sessions such as hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and rock climbing for Veterans seeking to improve their mental health and well being through outdoor well being activities.

You might also like to consider mindfulness therapy.

Last updated: July 3, 2024