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Mental health problems are common and can affect anyone, including veterans and their families.

Although it’s completely normal to experience anxiety or depression after traumatic events, this can be tough to deal with. Symptoms or problems coping can happen at any time, including a few years after leaving the Armed Forces.

Some people delay getting help for a number of reasons, such as trying to cope alone, fear of criticism, embarrassment or feeling that the NHS will not understand.

Learn more about the symptoms of mental health conditions including anxiety, stress, depression and PTSD.

Operation Courage

Operation Courage is the Veteran’s mental health and wellbeing service. If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available whether you’re due to leave the armed forces, have just left or left many years ago.

When you contact Op COURAGE, you’ll speak to people who:

  • understand the armed forces and military life
  • are either from the armed forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families
  • will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment

You can contact the service yourself or ask your GP, a charity or someone else, such as a family member or friend, to do this for you. The service will arrange for you to have an assessment, to make sure you get the right care and support.

Operation Courage information leaflet

Operation Courage information poster

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS)

The transition, intervention, and liaison service (known as TILS) is the single point of access for military veterans’ mental health support across England. Pennine Care run this service across the Northwest of England.

The function of TILS is to give timely support and advice, and link veterans into the most appropriate service, as quickly as possible.

The specialist team is overseen by a consultant clinical psychologist and managed by a registered mental health nurse and highly specialist psychotherapist. The team consists of mental health nurses, social workers, and a dual-diagnosis nurse. A number of their staff are also veterans themselves.

TILS offer a range of services including:

  • Specialist triage and mental health assessments
  • Case management
  • Liaison with and referral to the most appropriate specialist services, such as the Military Veterans’ Service, complex treatment service, Veterans in Mind, for psychological therapeutic interventions related to Military trauma.

Help may also be provided with:

  • Housing
  • Employment
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Social support

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’ Mental Health Transition Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) by calling 0800 652 2867 or by email.