DECORATION.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

The mental health and wellbeing of Service personnel, whether Regulars or Reservists, their families and veterans is a priority for the Government.

Who does what?

Serving Personnel

For those serving in the Armed Forces (including mobilised Reservists), the MOD has worked hard to improve patient care in the area of mental health – the Defence Medical Services have implemented new interventions and mental health professionals are deployed to the front line.

Stress management is now embedded through the chain of command, and mental health awareness is a training and leadership issue in today’s Armed Forces – we are making a concerted effort to de-stigmatise issues around mental health and promote awareness of the professional medical care and support available.

Reservists

The Reserves Mental Health Programme, run in partnership with the NHS, is open to all current or former members of the UK Volunteer and Regular Reserves who have been demobilised since 1 January 2003, following operational deployment overseas as a reservist and who believe that their deployment may have affected their mental health

Service Families and Veterans

In the UK, the NHS is responsible for delivering healthcare for the families of those serving and veterans. Mental healthcare is a multi-agency delivery effort and the MOD and UK Departments of Health are working with the NHS and Service charities, including Combat Stress, to promote awareness of Veterans’ and Service family issues.

The Defence Medical Services provide healthcare services to families who accompany their serving family member when posted to our major bases overseas.

Armed Forces Covenant and Mental Health

The Armed Forces Covenant states that the Armed Forces Community should enjoy the same standard of, and access to, healthcare as that received by any other UK citizen in the area they live.

MOD has published information leaflets aimed at veterans, serving personnel and their families outlining how the Covenant can help them. If members of our Armed Forces Community feel they have been disadvantaged accessing public services these leaflets will help to identify where to go to address the problem.

Link to the Ministry of Defence Covenant Website

‘Fighting Fit: A Mental Health Plan For Servicemen and Veterans’

The Government commissioned Dr Andrew Murrison MP to look in particular at the support for Service personnel and veterans who may suffer from mental health problems due to Service. The MOD is working closely with the Department of Health to take forward the recommendations in Dr Andrew Murrison’s report, ‘Fighting Fit’, which was published in November 2010.

Key recommendations:

• employing the equivalent of 30 mental health professionals with a remit to ensure that Veterans are able to access mental health care;
• setting up a 24-hour helpline with Combat Stress and Rethink, which will offer help and support on a wide range of issues, health-related and otherwise;
• launching an e-learning package to help GPs understand the needs of the military, their families and Veterans
• working with the Big White Wall to trial an online early intervention service for serving personnel, Veterans and their families. The Big White Wall is a voluntary organisation specialising in providing a supported, online mental health community for vulnerable adults and other target groups.

Where can I get more information?

For general information on military mental health please go to:

NHS Choices: Military Mental Health

For more information for specific groups, please see:

Serving Personnel

Royal Navy

Army

Royal Air Force

Reservists

• The Reserves Mental Health Programme is run by the Defence Medical Services in partnership with the NHS. Details can be found on the British Army website via the following link; the scheme is open to Reservists of all three Armed Forces.

Reservists

Service Families and Veterans

NHS Choices: Veterans’ Healthcare

NHS Choices: Veterans' Mental Health

Department of Health: For those who served: Meeting the healthcare needs of veterans in England

How do I get advice or help urgently?

Serving Personnel

• Talk to your chain of command, unit medical officer, welfare officer or chaplain.
• The Big White Wall trial of an online early intervention service offers free, anonymous online psychological support for serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

Visit: http://www.bigwhitewall.com/

Reservists

• If currently mobilised, talk to your chain of command, unit medical officer, welfare officer or chaplain
• If previously mobilised, talk to your NHS GP or the Reserves' Mental Health Programme on:
Freephone 0800 032 6258
• The Big White Wall trial of an online early intervention service offers free, anonymous online psychological support for serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

• Visit: http://www.bigwhitewall.com/

Veterans

• The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency provides the Veterans-UK Freephone helpline:
Tel 0800 169 2277
• The charities Combat Stress and Rethink run a Freephone 24-hour helpline for veterans who have concerns about their mental health:
Tel: 0800 138 1619.
• The Medical Assessment Programme (MAP) is also available for veterans on Freephone:
Tel: 0800 169 5401
• The Big White Wall trial of an online early intervention service offers free, anonymous online psychological support for serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

Visit: http://www.bigwhitewall.com/

Service Families

If you have a concern about the mental health of a family member who is a serving Regular, Reservist or Veteran, use the appropriate contacts set out above.

The Big White Wall trial of an online early intervention service offers free, anonymous online psychological support for serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

Visit: http://www.bigwhitewall.com/

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