The NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (VMH CTS) is a specialist community mental health service for armed forces veterans.
It is for those experiencing complex mental illness related to their time in the military, and is here to help veterans regardless of when they left the armed forces.
Our service is for former forces personnel in the north of England – from communities from South Yorkshire and Cheshire up to the Scottish Borders – and is run in partnership with the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health, Combat Stress.
It provides therapies for veterans experiencing psychological trauma (such as post-traumatic stress disorder), alongside a range of other treatments and advice including help with substance misuse, physical health, employment, accommodation, relationships and finances.
We appreciate that the culture of the armed forces is unique and that’s why this service is provided by a team in tune with military needs. Military experience is central to what we do and the service has been shaped by feedback from veterans and their families.
This feedback called for a local, community-based service that provides:
a range of prompt care and treatment that is sensitive to the culture of the armed forces
integrated support with managing alcohol and substance misuse and anger issues
support for families and carers who want to be more involved in the care of their loved ones
If you are referred into our service, you will be assigned a care coordinator, who will be your regular point of contact throughout your time with us.
They will work closely with a dedicated team of nurses, occupational therapists, psychological therapists, a psychiatrist and peer support workers to ensure you get the right care and treatment, either at home or at a local clinic or suitable community venue.
The service provides a range of treatment options including, but not limited to:
physical health care
support with employment, accommodation, relationships and finances
support with substance misuse and anger issues
Treatment usually lasts for up to 32 weeks.
If you’re a relative or carer:
The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service has been informed by the views of veterans and their families and one of the key themes that emerged was that families and spouses wanted to be more involved in their loved ones’ care.
The service is therefore committed to involving families and carers in planning and assessing care with patients where this is appropriate. If needed, you will also be supported to access care and treatment yourself.
All referrals into our service come via the Veteran’s Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (VMH TILS) which is provided by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust. They provide more information for those wanting to make a referral on their website.