Helping Military Veterans
First Step provides a service for military veterans with common mental health problems
Both the stories of military veterans and research evidence tells us that although most military veterans are able to make the transition to civilian life successfully, for some this can be a difficult time. Leaving the structure of military life and engaging in the uncertainty of a new life can be difficult. Many military veterans may also have experienced or witnessed traumatic events which can lead to nightmares, flashbacks or a current sense of danger even when they are out of the combat area. For some people this can lead to low mood, avoiding places or using alcohol or drugs as a way of trying to cope. Some research also suggests that reservists may also experience similar difficulties to their regular colleagues.
First Step provides rapid access to evidence-based therapies for military veterans with common mental health problems such as depression or anxiety disorders (e.g. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Panic Disorder). We work closely with our local drug and alcohol services as well as regional services specifically for military veterans such as Combat Stress and we are able to work alongside, or as part of, the reservists mental health programme, run by the Reserves Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC).
Many military veterans have already received help from First Step and were able to make massive changes to their problems. Some have come with recent problems following service in Afghanistan or Iraq but sometimes problems have arisen long after discharge and we have helped people who served in more distant conflicts such as Northern Ireland or Bosnia. We have worked with both reservists and veterans from regular forces.
Please click here to find out details of how to refer yourself to First Step for a telephone assessment to see if we may be able to help. We are able to provide an initial telephone assessment for most people within two weeks.
Pilot service for military veterans in the North West
There is also a pilot service funded by the NHS until 31st March 2014 that covers the North West including Cumbria. Please see the website for further details. This service also takes self-referrals directly but if you are assessed by First Step and we think your needs might be better met by their service we will discuss this as an option with you.
The office base for this service is Bury, Greater Manchester however their staff travel to see patients across the North West including in Cumbria.
www.bigwhitewall.com - Online support for Armed Forces, veterans and their families.