The Veterans Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (VMH CTS) is now part of the new overarching NHS mental health service Op Courage which is dedicated to supporting serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.
The VMH CTS covering the East Midlands and the East of England was established in 2018 to offer evidenced based psychological therapy, as well as other support for military veterans needing a more intense care and treatment approach.
The VMH CTS works with the High Intensity Service (HIS) Midlands and East of England Veterans_High Intensity Service , plus the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS).
Access to the VMH CTS in the East Midlands and East of England can only gained via a referral from either the TILS or the HIS.
You can contact the TILS yourself who will refer on, or your GP can refer you to TILS. If you are currently with the HIS then they can refer directly to the VMH CTS.
Once the referral has been made to the VMH CTS, you will receive a psychological, physical, and social needs assessment to ascertain your needs as an individual, and decide whether our service is the best place for you at that specific time.
If you or someone you know are in a crisis, and there is immediate threat to life, then call 999. If there is no immediate threat to life call 111.
You may also like to contact the High Intensity Service (HIS) Midlands or East of England Veterans High Intensity Service (elft.nhs.uk) which can be contacted on the 24/7 helpline number: 0300 323 0139.
If already within the service, contact your assigned mental health worker(s).
Speaking with family and friends can also be helpful in these times.
The VHM CTS, along with the TILS and the HIS work together under the umbrella of Op Courage.
The HIS service provides care and treatment for veterans who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent help for example helping those in crisis. Meanwhile the TILS acts like a hub, acting as a single point of access for military veterans’ mental health support across England.
Both TILS and HIS refer into the VMH CTS, and sometimes the VMH CTS will refer to HIS if an individual is in crisis or they may work alongside one another until the individual stabilises.
During 2021, the VMH CTS team supported the Royal College of Psychiatrists in developing and launching the Quality Network for Veterans Mental health Services (QNVMHS). We were delighted to be ranked top of the eight services involved in the pilot following a peer review in 2021.
Below are a few examples of what veterans’ who have left the service recently have said about their treatment:
“I would recommend Veterans Mental Health to any Veteran who is going through the same problem i.e PTSD”
“Best care since being in the British Army, all involved in my care very caring and compassionate. Excellent care thank you”.
“CTS has been instrumental for my recovery journey, a journey I will never forget. You listened, I was never judged and I am now me and not who I once was.”
“I owe my life to CTS. The psychologist and his team have delivered a professional, compassionate and structured treatment programme which has helped me learn new coping skils and grounding techniques. Culminating in EMDR the change has been astounding.”
“This service is amazing. The clinicians I have had involved in my care have been beneficial in helping me to overcome many obstacles and helping me to become a better version of the person I was.”
“My Team have literally been life saving and I truly mean that, I can't thank them enough for getting me through the toughest time in my life. Now I am armed with the tools to either cope with or avoid what my future life will throw at me. Also at the start it makes such a difference when they have a knowledge of the forces world. Many thanks to one and all.”
The VMH CTS offers a multidisciplinary team approach, which consists of psychiatry, psychology, and social work. This team approach allows each individual to be offered an individualised treatment plan, where you may work with psychologists, psychotherapists, CBT therapists, social work, mental health nurses, and assistant psychologists.
The team can help with treating various mental health problems including PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Therapy sessions with a therapist generally take place face to face in a location close to you, online via Microsoft Teams video calls or, if required, via telephone.
The service offers a trauma informed three phase based approach to therapy, whereby you will have a period of stabilisation, then, when ready, move onto trauma therapy if appropriate and, before you leave the service, reintegration.