National survey aims to improve mental health services for veterans

NHS England is running a nationwide survey to find out what people think of its veterans’ mental health services.

There are currently 12 specific mental health services for veterans across England and the contract for these services ends in September. The NHS wants to hear from people who have used the services, their families and those who run the services, to understand what is working and what improvements could be made.

The goal for veterans’ mental health services is to be easy to access, to take account of individual experiences, and to provide high-quality and sensitive care, treatment and support – regardless of when people leave the armed forces. The survey is an opportunity for military veterans to say whether these goals are being met, and to help the NHS understand the reasons people may or may not seek help when they return from service.

The chair of the NHS England’s Armed Forces and their Families Clinical Reference Group, Dr Jonathan Leach, says that some individuals can experience very traumatic situations while serving in the military, and that the challenges of getting back into civilian life can take an additional toll.

“While mental health awareness is improving, we can do more to identify issues not just with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder but with wider problems linked to anxiety and depression. We are asking for feedback from veterans, their families and NHS specialists so that the right care and support is available early and easily for those who need it,” he said.

If you would like to take part in the survey, please access it here.