"Military veterans" is a broad term that often refers to serving military personnel, reservists, people who previously served in the armed forces, their partners and family members.
The groups of people above are also sometimes described as the "armed forces community"
Priority treatment for veterans
A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces for at least one day. There are around 2.8 million veterans in the UK.
All veterans are entitled to priority access to NHS hospital care for any condition, as long as it's related to their service and subject to the clinical need of others.
If the NHS service you are dealing with is unaware of priority treatment, you are actively encouraged to tell them about it and ensure you have told them that you have served.
You can find out more on the NHS Choices Website
Where to go for help and advice
Warrington’s mental health awareness site www.happyoksad.org.uk has a directory of mental health support services, which includes a section specifically for military veterans. To find this section go to www.happyoksad.org.uk, click on the blue “Adults click here” button, then click on the drop down heading “organisations which support military veterans”.
Military veterans are entitled to priority healthcare and can be fast tracked into treatment, speak to your GP for more information. You are classed as a military veteran for serving just one day in the Armed Forces.
Do you need free, confidential help or advice with alcohol or drugs?
Please contact Cgl Pathways:
- Ring: 01925 415176
- Visit: 14-16 Bold Street, WA1 1DE
Organisations which support military veterans
The Armed Forces Community Support Hub
Their aim is to draw together the service providers, agencies, organisations and charities that assist Military personnel.
They give support with housing, employment, welfare, health and wellbeing under one roof. Promote inter-agency working and improved access to services, information and advice for the Armed Forces Community. Call 01925 246 955.
Big White Wall
This online service is free to serving military personnel, veterans and their families.
The aim of Big White Wall is to help people work through what's troubling them. A range of online support is available including: a peer support network; guided support programmes for help with issues like anxiety, depression and sleep problems; an opportunity for creative self-expression; and Live Therapy.
Blue Apple Heroes
This Warrington based charity offers support to the armed forces community and their families. Blue Apples Heroes can provide a range of practical help according to veterans’ needs. The support available includes help with housing issues and assistance accessing psychological therapies. The charity also runs arts and craft groups, a drop-in coffee shop and a garden centre for veterans to learn new skills.
Visit Blue Apple Heroes Facebook page
This UK military charity supports and treats ex-service men and women who have mental health problems. Support offered includes a 24 hour helpline, a community outreach service and specialist clinical treatment in residential centres.
Veterans in Mind - psychological therapy
This NHS psychological therapy service aims to improve the mental health of British ex-service personnel and their families. People can refer themselves, using the online form, or can be referred by a health professional. Some staff have themselves served in the armed forces, others have a particular interest in veterans' mental health.
NHS Direct - military and veterans' health care
This site has a section that covers a broad range of health issues affecting serving military personnel and veterans. It also includes links to support services. There are specific sections on military mental health and veterans' mental health.
Talking 2 Minds
This charity supports people who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other severe stress-related conditions. The service is free and includes a four-day therapeutic programme. Support is also offered to partners and family members. Talking 2 Minds is run by people who themselves have personal experience of severe stress-related conditions.