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Trust hosts workshop to enhance mental health support for veterans

Staff from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust joined forces with local and national military charities, as well as the Department of Community Mental Health at RAF Marham, in a workshop held on 2 July.

The workshop, which was held at Hellesdon Hospital, Norwich, was intended to improve communication and co-ordination, identify issues that face veterans and those personnel transiting out of the Armed Forces.

Among the organisations attending the workshop were the Bridge for Heroes, Combat Stress, The Royal British Legion, the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association (SSAFA), the Royal Marines Association, Norfolk Veterans’ Retreat, Outside the Wire and Veterans Norfolk.

Feedback from the participants was positive and actions were established to help improve the offer to veterans and their families. Further workshops are planned in both Norfolk and Suffolk.

Enhancing and improving services for veterans with mental health problems follows the Government’s Armed Forces Covenant, which requires that "those injured in service, whether mentally or physically, should be cared for in a way which reflects the nation’s moral obligations to them while respecting the individual’s wishes. For those with concerns about their mental health, where symptoms may not present for some time after leaving service, they should be able to access services with health professionals who have an understanding of armed forces culture."

The Government’s mandate to NHS England requires the NHS and its public sector partners help one another to achieve their objectives. Our Trust continues to work to improve partnership working with veteran support organisations and is actively supporting a number of service developments, such as the Bridge for Heroes in King’s Lynn.

If you have an interest in the mental health of veterans there are Trust Veterans’ Focus Groups in Norfolk and Suffolk.