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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 is 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 through our A-Z of mental health conditions.

If you want help from a charity, you can:

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.

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

Op COURAGE is a new overarching name for the following veterans mental health services:

  • 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)

The new name was created to make it easier for veterans and those leaving the military to find help.

How Op COURAGE can help

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

  • supporting you with intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis
  • helping you transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS)
  • supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping you access local services
  • helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
  • helping you to access other NHS mental health services if you need them, such as finding an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) and eating disorder services
  • helping you get in touch with charities and local organisations who can support your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as housing, relationships, finances, employment, drug and alcohol misuse and social support

Who will I speak to?

Everyone at Op COURAGE is either from the armed forces community or is experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families.

They understand military life and the courage it takes to speak with someone. They will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support and treatment.

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 practice 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. You can contact Op COURAGE even if you left many years ago.

You can also contact Op COURAGE if you are 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 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 is important to contact the Op COURAGE for your local area. This allows them to give you the best support they can provide.

North of England

Call 0800 652 2867 or email VTILS@cntw.nhs.uk.

The Op COURAGE urgent care and support service is accessible by healthcare referral only.

The Midlands

Call 0300 323 0137 or email mevs.mhm@nhs.net (includes the Op COURAGE urgent care and support service for the Midlands).

The East of England

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

London

Call 020 3317 6818 or email cim-tr.veteranstilservice-lse@nhs.net (includes the Op COURAGE urgent care and support service).

South East England

For services in Sussex, Surrey or Kent, call 020 3317 6818 or email cim-tr.veteranstilservice-lse@nhs.net.

For services in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Berkshire, Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire, call 0300 365 2000 or email gateway@berkshire.nhs.uk.

For the Op COURAGE urgent care and support service, call 02394 387 924 or email snhs.veteranshis.se@nhs.net.

South West England

Call 0300 365 2000 or email gateway@berkshire.nhs.uk.

Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme

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

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

You can usually only access this service if a GP refers you to it. Ask your GP about a referral if you feel your time serving in the armed forces has affected your mental health.

GOV.UK: Veterans and Reserves Mental Health Programme

Combat Stress

If you need to talk to somebody, 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.

This helpline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 138 1619.

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