Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service – North of England

Op Courage logoThe Veterans’ High Intensity Service (HIS) provides care and treatment for former armed forces personnel (veterans) who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent help.

The HIS is part of Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service – a new name for the three specialist NHS mental health services for veterans.

In the North of England these three services are:

The name has been developed by the NHS England and NHS Improvement Armed Forces Patient and Public Voice following feedback from the Armed Forces community to make it easier for those leaving the military and veterans to get help.

How the HIS works

In the North of England, the service is being delivered in partnership between the NHS and well-established veterans’ support charities. Together, we will work with local mental health services to provide:

  • Support to crisis care services for veterans presenting in a mental health crisis
  • Support during an inpatient unit stay – including access to a clinician advice line 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Care navigation – helping veterans and their carers find the local services best suited to their needs
  • Support and care for family members and carers where they need it.

The High Intensity Service means that the NHS and its partners will be able to offer a joined up and dedicated specialist mental health care service for veterans, meaning we can improve the health and lives of veterans, their families and loved ones.

Accessing the High Intensity Service

If you require support from the High Intensity Service, you’ll probably already be in the care of local mental health services, or one of the existing veterans’ specialist mental health services such as TILS or CTS. You may have come to A&E and been seen by a Liaison Psychiatry team. This is not a self referral service.

Local health professionals will then call on the HIS for help if they feel your care would benefit from our support. We will be in touch within 24 hours of a referral being received.

Accessing mental health support locally

If you are an armed forces veteran (minimum service of one day) and need mental health support, you can speak to your GP or contact the NHS Veterans’ Transition Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) in the first instance on 0800 652 2867 or email VTILS@cntw.nhs.uk.

Professional referrals

If you are a health professional and are looking for support from the High Intensity Service, visit our page for Professionals and Support Organisations.

Find out more about how we in the High Intensity Service support veterans in mental health crisis by working with locally-based services across our region in this short animation.

What are the benefits for Veterans?

This service provides:

  • Personalised care closer to home with greater opportunity for family, friend and carer involvement
  • Less need to travel for specialist treatment
  • A service that has been designed by veterans, for veterans and that employs veterans – improving their experience and likely engagement with treatment
  • Shorter stays in inpatient units or hospitals
  • A joined up experience of care – reducing the feeling of being passed around the system
  • A better experience for veterans struggling with mental health problems, leading to improved health and lives, and reduced hospital stays and serious incidents.
Who delivers the High Intensity Service?

The HIS is provided by a partnership of four well-established expert organisations, including:

The HIS employs clinical staff who will have the appropriate skills to support veterans and local NHS teams when the veteran is in crisis or is admitted to a mental health inpatient ward. This will include a team of psychologists, mental health professionals and Veteran Liaison and Support Officers – some of whom will be veterans themselves.

Contact us

Veterans, their families and carers cannot make direct referrals to us, as it’s the mental health professionals treating you locally who’ll call on us for help if they need it. More information can be found here.

Feedback about our service

If you would like to provide some feedback about our service (including making a complaint), you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Telephone: 0800 052 5790 (freephone)
Email: pals.lypft@nhs.net

Or write to:
The PALS Office
Becklin Centre
Alma Street
Leeds
LS9 7BE

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