HEALTH AND CARE: Improving care for veterans and teenagers

The service will focus on helping veterans closer to home, rather than requiring them to travel to centres for weeks at a time
The service will focus on helping veterans closer to home, rather than requiring them to travel to centres for weeks at a time

This week we want to focus on two new services to improve care for local people.

On Sunday a new scheme was launched to support former armed forces personnel and improve the mental health care available to veterans and their families.

The Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service has been designed after veterans and their families from across England were invited to tell the NHS how services would work best for them.

Backed by £3.2million of funding a year, the new service aims to help 450 veterans every year and will include help for substance misuse, physical health, employment, accommodation, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma focused therapies.

Crucially the service will focus on helping veterans closer to home, rather than requiring them to travel to centres for weeks at a time.

There will also be opportunities for families and carers to help plan treatment for their loved ones and they will be supported to access care and treatment for themselves if required.

The service will be run by NHS providers, working closely with armed forces groups and charities, including Combat Stress.

To access these services, you need to go through NHS Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service.

This can be done by contacting the service directly, or by asking your GP or a military charity to refer you.

To contact the service directly call 020 3317 6818 or email: cim-tr.veteranstilservice-lse@nhs.net

You can also find out more about the service and the support available online: www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Militaryhealthcare/veterans-families-reservists/Pages/veterans-mental-health.aspx

Further to this we wanted to promote a new local service that starts next week for young people aged 13 to 18 years old.

#FitFutures is a free health and nutritional programme to help teenagers who would like to feel more confident when it comes to their food choices and being physically active.

The 12-week programme will support teenagers to learn together about healthy foods and unhealthy foods, what happens to our bodies during exercise and why it is good for you, as well as the dangers we face in later life if we don’t start out on the right course.

Funded by Arun Wellbeing and delivered by Freedom Leisure, the course begins on Wednesday, April 18, at Arun Leisure Centre, from 5pm to 6pm for young people living in the Arun district.

It is free to attend and those who complete it will be eligible for six months of free access to the gym and swimming at Littlehampton Swimming and Sports Centre or Arun Leisure Centre.

The only pre-requisite for the course is for the young person to feel less confident when it comes to exercise and understanding healthy nutrition. There are no physical weights or measures taken as part of this course.

This course will run in a supportive, non-judgemental environment, led by our #FitFutures Team, providing the best possible opportunity to pass on useful knowledge and encourage participants to be more active.

For further information email: carrie.reynolds@freedom-leisure.co.uk

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