If you need immediate assistance with your mental wellbeing, call the emergency services on 999 or visit your nearest Accident and Emergency service. You can also talk to your GP who can refer you to a specialist.
What can I find support for?
Many conditions and disorders can affect your mental wellbeing. Common issues include depression, grief from bereavement, loneliness, dementia and alcohol and drug misuse. Veterans can find support for all aspects of mental health, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from several organisations that seek to provide expert advice and assistance.
Veterans Wales is a NHS service for veterans in need of mental health support in Wales. Veterans can self-refer to receive support from a Veteran Therapist with experience in Service-related mental health. Visit the Veterans Wales website for more information.
How will I receive support?
Each Local Health Board (LHB) in Wales has appointed an experienced clinician as a Veteran Therapist (VT) with an interest or experience of military (mental) health problems. The VT will accept referrals from health care staff, GPs, veteran charities and self-referrals from ex-service personnel. The appropriate VT can be contacted by going to their LHB page on the Veterans Wales website.
Appointments will be arranged as close to your home as possible in a suitable venue. The service is not able to respond to emergency referrals. Veterans in crisis should contact their GP or the Out of Hours Service. There is a Psychiatrist on call at all Accident and Emergency Units in District General Hospitals.
Alternatively you can call the 24/7 helpline on 0800 132 737.
Following assessment, a veteran may be offered therapy by the VT or referred on to other NHS teams or departments for further treatment. The VT will also refer to veteran charities for help with debt management, benefits and war pension/armed forces compensation claims as indicated.
What other support is available?
If you are suffering with PTSD, depression or other mental health problems, there are organisations you can approach for help.
The NHS has a comprehensive online library of information on mental wellbeing, ranging from bereavement to managing mental health at work.
Combat Stress is the UK's leading charity for veterans' mental health. For almost a century the charity has helped former servicemen and women deal with issues like trauma, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. On the phone and online. In the community and at its treatment centres. Services are free of charge to veterans. For support contact:
Please be aware as of Monday 27 January 2020 Combat Stress will not be taking new referrals in England and Wales. Referrals will continue as usual in Northern Ireland, and in Scotland.
The Ripple Pond
Providing peer support to those who are supporting British service personnel and veterans who are living with a physical injury or mental illness. Visit The Ripple Pond website for more information.
The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
The RAF Benevolent Fund has a strong tradition of looking after the RAF Family in the UK and overseas. They support all serving and former members of the RAF as well as their partners and dependent children. They provide free access to mental health support and therapy through their wellbeing service. For more information, contact:
Schemes for veterans
The Royal British Legion lists NHS community services available to veterans. Professionals familiar with the mental health issues that can affect veterans deliver these services.
Mental health and disability