Mental illness can affect anyone, including serving and ex-members of the Armed Forces and their families. Whilst some people cope by getting support from their family and friends, or by getting help with other issues in their lives, others need clinical care and treatment, which could be from the NHS, support groups or charities…

Within the NHS, there are a range of mental health services that provide different types of care and treatment. This includes dedicated mental health services for service personnel approaching discharge from the British Armed Forces and veterans.

These dedicated services are called the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS). Both of these services are provided by specialists in mental health who have an expert understanding of the Armed Forces.

Accessing the TILS in your local area is quick and easy:

  • If you are due to leave the Armed Forces, the TILS will work with the MOD to offer you mental health support through your transition period and beyond
  • Both serving personnel approaching discharge and ex-forces will have a specialist assessment two weeks after the TILS has received your referral. Where appropriate, the TILS will aim to see you for your first appointment two weeks after this. You will be supported by a military aware team who will develop a personalised care plan with you
  • Your assessment may find that other NHS services can provide more relevant support. If this is the case, the TILS will help you access these services, which could include talking therapies or treatment for other conditions, such as eating disorders or psychosis
  • If you have significant mental health difficulties that are military related and have not improved with previous treatment, you will be referred to your local CTS

Access to the CTS is via the TILS. This ensures that any previous treatment and support has been considered. This service provides a range of intensive care and treatment for people with military related complex mental health difficulties, many of whom will have experienced trauma.

Once referred to the CTS, the service will aim to see you for your first appointment two weeks after this. You will be supported by a military aware team who will develop a personalised care plan with you. This will include arrangements for crisis care.

For more information, visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk and search for ‘veteran’.

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