Meeting veterans' mental health needs

A scheme has been set up in Essex to help former soldiers cope with the psychological effects of war. According to the BBC, the North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network will involve the Colchester Garrison, charity Combat Stress and the NHS work together to improve mental health care for the force.

The scheme has been given £130,000 in funding from the Department of Health to help finance its work - which aims to provide a service to veterans who may have felt their experiences were not understood by professionals in the past.

It is hoped the partnership - which was instigated by Consultant Psychiatrist Lt Col (retd) Mike Srinivasan - will improve the treatment of former army personnel dealing with mental health issues.

Professor Rasjid Skinner, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, said he believes the Armed Services can sometimes be reluctant when reporting psychological symptoms of trauma.

He noted: "The charity Combat Stress has, uniquely, some 90 years experience of dealing with the psychological injuries of Service veterans … and will hopefully provide a model for psychological therapy provision in other parts of the UK."

Earlier this month the army launched its Don't Bottle It Up advertising campaign on the British Forces Broadcasting Service.

The commercials are aimed at prompting servicemen and women to seek help if they are experiencing mental health issues and not to ignore such feelings because of their job.

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