Pensions & Compensation
Service Records, Medals & Badges
Welfare, Support & Contact
Special Support Programmes
Armed Forces Memorial
Veterans Advisory & Pensions
Committees (VA & PC)
Health – Community Veterans Mental Health Service
Announcement l Background l What
treatment will the Pilot clinics provide? l Frequently
In recent years, there has been a special focus
on mental health, both for the wider UK community and specifically for
the armed forces and veterans’ populations.
For serving personnel, a new operational stress management policy has been
developed. This emphasises the prevention of mental illness through
training and support and, where problems do arise, early detection and specialist
referral. It is recognised that stigma and fear of discrimination can prevent
people seeking help appropriately and a key aim is to change the culture.
There is now good evidence for effective interventions
for many of the health problems seen in veterans and, in 2005, with the
cooperation of Combat Stress, MOD funded an independent review of the Society’s
programmes by the specialist independent Health and Social Care Advisory
Service (HASCAS) to ensure that the treatment offered and its place in
the wider NHS were appropriate.
The HASCAS report made recommendations to enhance
the care offered by Combat Stress to funded war pensioners but also indicated
that the real issue was wider mental health services for veterans in general; the pattern of
service across the UK being variable. We have therefore engaged with the
4 UK Health Departments to address the wider problem. New in-service
healthcare arrangements based mainly in primary care and at the Defence Community
Mental Health teams across UK have also been introduced.
In response to the HASCAS report, officials from MOD,
the four UK health departments and Combat Stress have been working together,
advised by a clinical expert group, to devise and implement a new model
for veterans’ mental
health services. The model is community-based and in line with NHS practice
and procedures. It aims to deliver evidence based interventions which are
culturally sensitive and to improve health professionals’ awareness
and understanding of veterans and military life and mental health problems.