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Veterans mental health in the North East of England

veteran recovery college


Being a veteran, I understand the mental health hurdles that come after military life.

Coming back to normal life can be really hard. The stress and trauma can weigh heavily.

In the North East of England, I have seen first-hand the huge need for better support for our ex-servicemen and women. There are many important help points, from confidential counselling to the North East Veteran Recovery College. These places offer special care for veterans mental health needs.

The area is doing its best to help. They are tackling issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and substance abuse. With ongoing help and a whole-person approach, places like the Veteran Recovery College are really helping our heroes.

In the upcoming sections, I’ll look at the many mental health resources available for North East veterans. I aim to guide those looking for help to the support they need. Let’s work together to make sure no veteran is left behind and everyone gets the support they deserve.

Understanding Veterans Mental Health Challenges

Veterans can face complicated mental health difficulties, with PTSD and trauma high on the list. The experiences in the military can deeply impact mental health. It often leads to depression and anxiety.

This part looks at the specific mental health issues that veterans in the North East encounter. It helps us understand the challenges they face and why it’s vital they get the right support.

PTSD and Trauma

War and service experiences can be deeply disturbing. They can cause PTSD that many veterans must cope with. In the North East, a lot of veterans deal with PTSD. This leads to symptoms like flashbacks and emotional numbness. These affect how they live and connect with others.

Depression and Anxiety

Beyond PTSD, many North East veterans also grapple with depression and anxiety. These mental health issues are quite common among former military members. The shift to civilian life and ongoing trauma can make these mental health problems worse. This further complicates their day-to-day life.

It’s vital to meet veterans mental health needs. They served our country and should have the best support. Knowing their unique struggles is key to providing the right help. This helps them recover and adjust to civilian life.

“The trauma faced by those who have served in the armed forces can manifest in a range of symptoms, including flashbacks, hypervigilance, and emotional numbness, which can significantly impact their daily lives and relationships.”

NHS Veterans Mental Health Support in the North East

The NHS has many mental health services for veterans. These services are very important for people who used to be in the armed forces. The Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust (CNTW) and the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) do a lot to help.

Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust

The CNTW Trust runs the Veterans Transition Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) for veterans. They also have the Veterans Wellbeing Assessment and Liaison Service (VWALS) which you can reach by calling 0191 441 5974. For those in crisis, the Veterans’ High Intensity Service offers help. You can call them on 0303 123 1145.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

The TEWV Trust provides a special service called Op COURAGE for veterans in need. This service helps serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families adjust to civilian life. It offers mental health treatment and support for trauma. It also connects people to other health services and outside help.

If you want to use Op COURAGE, you must live in England and have been in the UK armed forces for at least a day. You should also have an English GP. This service used to have different names but now combines all its parts into one big programme.

“Op COURAGE: the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is an NHS specialist service designed to help serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families. It’s in the North East of England.”

Charities and groups like Combat Stress, the Royal British Legion, SSAFA, Togetherall, also support veterans’ mental health. These organisations are there to offer extra help along with what the NHS provides.

Veterans Mental Health in the North East

High rates of veteran suicides in the North East worry people. It shows the need for quick, right mental health help. Problems like PTSD, depression and anxiety are common. They make the risk of severe mental health problems higher.

Getting mental health help is hard for veterans in this area. Not knowing about services, mental health stigma and health system hurdles stop them from seeking help.

But, the North East is getting more support for veterans. Places like Op COURAGE, Combat Stress, and VWALS offer lots of help. From crisis support to ongoing therapy, these services fit the needs of the veteran community.

It’s crucial to know what mental health challenges veterans are up against. This knowledge helps make sure they get the right support and resources.

The North East Veteran Recovery College

The North East Veteran Recovery College serves veterans and their families in the region. It provides mental health support. You can find it in North Tyneside, Wallsend, and it supports veterans and their families from across the North East.

Counselling and Talking Therapies

The Veteran Recovery College has a team of experts, many from the military. They understand what veterans need. Services include online and in-person counselling for veterans and their families.

These professionals offer different types of therapy, like CBT and Person Centred Counselling. They help with anxiety, depression and PTSD. The Veteran Recovery College is accredited by Quality Network for Veterans Mental Health Services (QNVMHS) showing the high standards of its services.

Outdoor Therapy Programs

The Veteran Recovery College also provides outdoor therapy. It’s a key part of the recovery journey. Veterans can join activities such as hiking and kayaking.

The activities take place in nature. They combine exercise with outdoor benefits. This approach helps veterans feel like they belong. It also supports their recovery.

The Veteran Recovery College is vital for veterans and their families. It offers mental health services suited for their needs. Its team, therapies and focus on overall health are key in helping veterans rejoin communities. Call: The North East Veteran Recovery College on 0191 308 4030

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Op COURAGE is a joint effort between the NHS and veteran charities. It aims to help those who served in the military, including their families. It offers mental health services through three key programmes.

This service is found in the North of England. It provides help for mental health issues, offers treatment for these and other problems, and connects with local groups for more help. Op COURAGE highlights the bravery needed to ask for mental health and wellbeing support.

Veterans or their family can refer them. They can also be referred by some groups or a GP. Different contact details are available based on where you live in England to get help. More service info is on the NHS website for veterans.

  • The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is now Op COURAGE.
  • Members of the FWP team help NHSE take care of veterans, including LGBT+ ones.
  • Op COURAGE gives special care for those who served, reservists, veterans and their families.

“Op COURAGE highlights the bravery needed to ask for help with mental health and wellbeing.”

AWP leads the Op COURAGE Veterans Mental Health Service in certain areas. This service supports anyone who served in the UK Armed Forces in these areas. It helps with many mental health issues, like depression and PTSD. Support includes housing and employment help. You can get in touch by calling or through your GP.

It’s an NHS service for former military with special support. You need to be living in England and have served at least one day in the UK forces. The service supports mental health and more, and helps families too. Visit their website for details on care.

Mind-Body-Spirit Approach for Veterans

The North East Veteran Recovery College knows it’s vital to take care of the whole self for better mental health and wellbeing. They run fitness programmes that mix exercises with calming and focusing techniques. These efforts are all about healing the mind, body and spirit to cut down on stress, worry less, stay happy and feel better both in mind and body for those who once served.

Massage Therapy

At the Mind Body Spirit Centre, veterans and their loved ones can get massage therapy. Massage helps relax, manage pain, sleep better, lift your mood and enhance your natural defenses. This rounded approach is key for veterans to fully heal in their body, mind and spirit.

Yoga and Mindfulness

Besides massages, the centre also offers yoga and mindfulness to veterans and their families. These activities reduce stress, make you happier, and boost your mind’s health. By adding yoga and mindfulness to veterans’ health plans, the college is helping them heal completely.

veterans mental health

“Integrating mind-body-spirit fitness into our veteran recovery programmes has been transformative. We’ve seen significant improvements in mental health, physical wellbeing and overall quality of life for those who engage with these holistic services.”
– Eddie, Director of the North East Veteran Recovery College

The College’s method shows they really care about veterans’ specific requirements. By mixing physical activities and mental support, they are helping veterans mental health in every way possible. This smart way of working is changing veterans’ lives for the better in England’s North East.

Sporting Activities for Veteran Well-being

The North East Veteran Recovery College sees the value of physical activity for veterans. This is why they offer many sports and fitness programs. These are made just for ex-military men and women.

National Support Services for Veterans

In the North East, veterans can find local support. There are also national groups helping with mental health and wellbeing. For instance, Combat Stress is a top charity for mental health. They help veterans across all services offering 24/7 care. Another key player is the Veterans UK Helpline. This Ministry of Defence service provides advice on several topics, including mental health. These groups work with local services to make sure veterans get the support they need, wherever they are.

Combat Stress

Combat Stress does important work for veterans mental health. Their experts are available all the time to help. They aim to support veterans facing mental health issues like PTSD, depression and anxiety.

Veterans UK Helpline

The Veterans UK Helpline is a critical service for former armed forces members. It helps with advice on many topics, including mental health

The UK ensures veterans and their families get vital mental health support. This includes local and national services working together. It’s all about providing the care that veterans truly deserve after serving their country.

The Role of Charities and Non-Profits

Charities and non-profit groups are key in helping veterans’ mental health. They work closely with the NHS and local authorities. Together, they offer counselling, outdoor therapy and more. This helps veterans and their families get support to boost their mental health and life quality.

Anxious Minds is a bright example. It runs the Veteran Community Kitchen . This cafe gives free or cheap hot meals to veterans and their families and is located in the Veteran Recovery College. It fights food problems and builds community spirit. The kitchen runs on help from volunteers, many who are ex-soldiers. It also gets money from donations and grants.

“The Veteran Community Kitchen uses extra food to make great meals for veterans and the community. It builds a welcoming place that helps everyone who needs food.”

The Veteran Community Kitchen works well because of its veteran volunteers. They give a lot to the effort. As it grows, the charity makes new partnerships and finds new ways to help ex-soldiers.

These groups are vital in the North East. They help the NHS and local authorities meet veterans’ mental health needs. Working together, they make sure veterans get all the support they need.

These charities do more than just mental health care. They also help create community and a sense of belonging. This is crucial for veterans feeling left out or struggling to fit in after their service. Charities and non-profits offer various programs. They aim to help veterans get stronger and smoothly return to non-military life.

veterans mental health

  • There are roughly 2.4 million UK veterans, mostly over 55 and 65.
  • In 2020, nearly 5,000 volunteers helped out through SSAFA, with over 25,000 cases.
  • Studies show that volunteering after 40 can be good for mental health.

The link between the NHS, local groups, and non-profits matters a lot. They offer a supportive network that really helps veterans.

Veteran Peer Support Groups in the North East

In the North East, veteran peer support groups are key in helping ex-military personnel with their mental health. These groups give a safe place for veterans to meet others who have been through similar things. Here, they can share their stories and create friendships. This sense of belonging helps beat loneliness and can lower mental health issues. It also encourages veterans to play an active part in getting better.

The North East Veteran Recovery College offers a wide range of mental health services. It includes group and one-to-one therapy and counselling, plus support for addictions. They also have outdoor activities, fitness classes, and advice services. These services aim to tackle the specific difficulties ex-military personnel might face.

There are also many other local organizations that help veterans in the area. These include:

  • Op COURAGE, offers mental health support via phone, video or face to face and email for current and former armed forces members and their families in the North of England.
  • Anxious Minds, offers early intervention and long turm support for veterans and their families struggling with mental health and addiction
  • SSAFA, helps Armed Forces members and their families with grants and housing, debt, training, and mental health services.

These services are crucial for ex-military personnel, meeting their unique needs. Veteran peer support groups in the North East are changing lives. They offer a welcome and understanding place for those who have served our country.

“The camaraderie and understanding I found in the peer support group were invaluable in my journey to recovery. It’s a safe space where I can be myself and connect with others who truly understand what I’ve been through.” – John, a veteran partaking in local support.

Accessing Mental Health Resources as a Veteran

As a veteran in the North East, finding mental health support might feel overwhelming. But many places can guide you to a better well-being. The first step is often the hardest, but asking for help shows courage, not weakness.

You can refer yourself to places like the North East Veteran Recovery College, just give us a call on 0191 308 4030. They have lots of help for veterans facing mental health challenges. 

Taking that first step is crucial. Reach out to those who are keen to support you. They offer various therapies, counselling, addiction help and outdoor therapies. All are there to help in your recovery.

It’s vital to know you’re not alone. By using the available mental health services, you can start your journey to better health and a rewarding life. Your mental health is important, and there are many who want to help you.

Whether you refer yourself or someone else does it, help for your mental health as a veteran in the North East is here. Don’t wait to take that first step. Your well-being and recovery are valuable.


The North East of England has really focussed on helping veterans with their mental health needs. It has created a whole system of support that addresses the challenges former soldiers face. This includes services from the NHS, charities and groups where veterans can talk to each other. They offer counselling, therapies and even outdoor activities to help boost mental well-being.

This support looks at every aspect of health – physical, emotional and spiritual. It helps not only the veterans but also their families. The goal is to move past challenges and into a better future. It shows they truly want to help all veterans get the care they need.

If you’re a veteran living in the North East, don’t hesitate to use these support services. Your well-being is vital, and many are ready to support you in your recovery. By connecting with these resources, you’re taking a strong step toward a better life. You truly deserve this care and attention.


What are the unique mental health challenges faced by veterans in the North East of England?

Veterans in the North East often deal with PTSD, depression and anxiety. Their military experiences deeply affect their mental health.

What NHS services are available to support the mental health of veterans in the North East?

In the North East, the NHS provides special mental health services. These include the Veterans Transition Intervention and the Veterans Wellbeing Assessment. They also offer a Veterans’ High Intensity Service.

These services are by trusted foundations in the region. Specifically, the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

What kind of support does the North East Veteran Recovery College offer?

The North East Veteran Recovery College gives various support services. They offer counselling, talking therapies, support groups and outdoor programs like hiking and kayaking.

What types of mind-body-spirit and fitness programs are available to veterans in the North East?

The Recovery College provides various fitness and well-being programs. These include massage therapy, yoga and breath therapy. Veterans also have access to gym facilities and boxing classes.

What national organisations and services provide mental health support for veterans in the North East?

Along with local support, national groups offer help. For example, organisations like Combat Stress and the Veterans UK Helpline are there for mental health support. They contribute to the services available in the North East.

How can veterans in the North East access the mental health resources and support services available to them?

Veterans can get help by reaching out to places like the Veteran Recovery College. They can also go through services like Op COURAGE. Help can come from family, GPs or other organisations.

The crucial thing is for veterans to take the first step and ask for help.

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