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Tuesday 26 March 2019
Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
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Veterans mental health service


If you are experiencing mental health difficulties, these services can provide a range of treatment and support regardless of when you left the armed forces.  

This includes recognising the early signs of mental health problems and providing access to early treatment and support, as well as therapeutic treatment for complex mental health difficulties and psychological trauma.  

Patients are also provided with help, where appropriate, with employment, reduction in alcohol consumption, housing and social support. 

Who is a Veteran?

The current Ministry of Defence (MoD) definition of a veteran is based on the criteria of all those personnel, male and female, who have served more than one day in either the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, including National Service personnel, Merchant Navy if involved in a conflict and Reservists. 

A veteran is not defined by the length or nature of service. Nor are they stripped of this status even if they are discharged from the Armed Forces for a serious or criminal breach of the Army Act 1955.  

Dedicated NHS mental health services

The NHS provides dedicated mental health services for those who have served in the British Armed Forces – the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS), both available across England.

Both services are provided by specialists in mental health who have an expert understanding of the Armed Forces. TILS is a dedicated out-patient service for serving personnel approaching discharge from the Armed Forces and veterans who are experiencing mental health difficulties. The CTS is an enhanced out-patient service for ex-forces who have military related complex mental health difficulties that have not improved with previous treatment.

Access to both of these services is through the TILS. Individuals can contact the service direct or ask to be referred via a GP or military charity.

Further details are available on the NHS website and also in this recently updated leaflet.  

How to access the service

To access these services, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a resident in England
  • Have served in the UK armed forces for a full day 
  • Be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing to register with a GP 
  • Be able to provide your military service number or another form of acceptable proof of eligibility.

If you meet these criteria, you can self-refer by calling the Midlands and East Veterans Service on 
0300 323 0137 or email mevs@mhm.org.uk. Alternatively, please request a referral via a healthcare professional or service charity. 

Upon receipt of referral, you will be offered an initial face to face assessment within two weeks and where appropriate a first clinical appointment two weeks thereafter.  

For more information on NHS healthcare for the Armed Forces community, please email england.armedforceshealth@nhs.net

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