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Mental health support for veterans, service leavers and reservists

Find mental health information and support for veterans, service leavers, reservists, families and carers.

Mental health problems are common and can affect anyone, including veterans, serving personnel, reservists and their families. It's important to get help and support if you or someone you know has mental health problems.

NHS mental health advice and urgent help

If you need support for a specific mental health condition, you can find information in our A-Z of mental health conditions.

Op COURAGE: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

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.

How Op COURAGE can help

Op COURAGE can help you and your family with a range of support and treatment, including:

  • helping you transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS)
  • helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems, as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
  • providing support and treatment for substance misuse and addictions
  • helping you to access other NHS mental health services if you need them, such as finding an NHS talking therapies service and eating disorder services
  • liaising with charities and local organisations to support your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as help with housing, relationships, finances and employment
  • supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping them to access local services

Who will I speak to?

Op COURAGE is an NHS service supported by trained professionals who are from, or have experience of working with, the Armed Forces community.

This service can help if you’re finding life difficult after leaving the military. Working together with Armed Forces charities, Op COURAGE will help you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment for your specific needs.

Who Op COURAGE can help

To receive help and support from Op COURAGE, you must:

  • be a resident in England and have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
  • be registered with a GP surgery in England, or be willing and eligible to register with a GP
  • provide your military service number

It does not matter how long ago you left the armed forces or how long you served for. You can contact Op COURAGE even if you left many years ago.

You can also contact Op COURAGE if you're still serving but have a discharge date.

Contacting Op COURAGE

You can contact the service in many ways, including:

  • directly getting in touch yourself, or through a family member or friend
  • asking a GP or other healthcare representative to refer you
  • asking a charity to refer you

The service will arrange for you to have an assessment, to make sure you get the right care and support.

It's important to contact the Op COURAGE service for your local area. This allows them to give you the best support they can provide.

North of England
The Midlands

Call 0300 323 0137 or email mevs.mhm@nhs.net

Website: www.opcouragemidlands.nhs.uk/

The East of England
London
South East England

Call 0300 365 2000 (option 4) or email gateway@berkshire.nhs.uk

Website: www.opcouragesoutheast.nhs.uk/

South West England

Is Op COURAGE the same as TILS, CTS and HIS?

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is the new name for the veterans mental health services previously known as:

  • the Veterans' Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)
  • the Veterans' Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS)
  • the Veterans' Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS)

These 3 services have come together as Op COURAGE to make it easier for veterans and those leaving the military to find help.

Reserves Mental Health Programme

The Reserves Mental Health Programme is a Ministry of Defence (MoD) specialist service that provides mental health assessments and treatment advice for reservists.

It works closely with the NHS and DMS to provide appropriate treatment.

Referrals for reservists are by their NHS GP or DPHC GP for their parent unit. Self-referral will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

GOV.UK: Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme

Support from charities and other mental health services

If you want help from a charity, you can:

Combat Stress

If you need to talk to someone, Combat Stress have a dedicated mental health support helpline for veterans and their families.

This provides confidential advice and support and is free to call for veterans, family members and carers.

The helpline number is 0800 138 1619, and it’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Togetherall

Togetherall is a mental health support service that provides:

  • anonymous, round-the-clock online support with trained counsellors
  • a supportive community, including forums for safe conversation
  • free resources to help you improve your mental health

All armed forces serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families can access these services at any time.

Page last reviewed: 24 August 2021
Next review due: 24 August 2024