Mental health support for veterans, their families and carers

Last updated on 26 May 2015

The stress and trauma associated with serving in the armed forces can impact on your mental health. Support is available. There are currently a range of services in the region which provide mental health support for veterans and their families, including those provided by the local NHS, social care providers, substance misuse services and veterans’ charities.

Local Support and Advice

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 one to one sessions with veterans using Neuro Linguistic Programming. (NLP).  They have currently helped thirty nine veterans and eight family members. Veterans at ease operate from two locations - one office in Durham and the other office based at Bedes world Jarrow Hall. They also offer an outreach service to veterans that don’t have the recourses to travel to any of the locations.

Veterans' Wellbeing Assessment and Liaison Service (VWALS) is a new 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 will 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.

Launched in June 2012 VWALS will run as a pilot until march 2015.

Other Useful Information

Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust provides NHS mental health, learning disability and specialist services across Newcastle. They provide; Urgent Care Services; Planned Care Services; Specialist Services; Patient Information Centre and 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.

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