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Walking With The Wounded Support New NHS Veteran Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Leading Military Charity, Walking With The Wounded, have partnered with 3 NHS Trusts across England to support the roll-out of ‘Op COURAGE’, a new veterans’ mental health pathway which launched on Thursday 4 March 2021.


The new pathway was announced by Sir Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England and NHS Improvement, Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans and Kate Davies CBE, Director of Health and Justice, Armed Forces and Sexual Assault Services Commissioning and officially launched the new NHS Veterans’ Mental Health High-Intensity Service (HIS), at the Veterans’ Mental Health Conference organised by Kings College London Centre for Military Health Research.

From October 2020, the HIS started to mobilise across England, providing a much-needed service for veterans who are struggling with their mental health, are in a mental health crisis and/or need urgent and emergency care and treatment. 

Over the last three years, NHS England and NHS Improvement has launched the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and more recently the Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS).  Together these form a complete mental health care pathway. 

Informed by feedback from veterans and their families, all NHS specialist veterans mental health services will now come under one new name:  Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service.

Fergus Williams, CEO of WWTW, said: “Walking With The Wounded is honoured to be part of NHS England's Op COURAGE’ mental health care pathway. ‘Op COURAGE’ shows the NHS’s continued commitment to support those who served.  We welcome this new evolving approach to Armed Forces veteran mental health pathways. The service demonstrates an integrated, whole-person approach and importantly includes families too. This is a fantastic step forward for Armed Forces veteran mental health support.”

Simon Lock, NHS Business Manager for WWTW, said: “WWTW are extremely excited to be working with 3 NHS Trusts. The new mental health care pathway will add real value to the existing services such as Transition Intervention Liaison Service and the Complex Treatment Service.”

Op COURAGE is part of a nine-point NHS plan to support the Armed Forces community.  The new name makes NHS veterans' mental health services easier to find and access; a name that inspires hope and bravery and is inclusive and relevant to both the NHS and military life.  The change provides a simplified name with a clear front door’ to care and support.

For more information, visit the NHS website.