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A day in the life of Veteran Liaison & Support Officer, Jill.

The Veterans’ High Intensity Service (HIS) provides care and treatment for former armed forces personnel (veterans) who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent help. The Veterans’ High Intensity Service (HIS), the Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veteran Liaison and Intervention Service (TILS) together make up Op COURAGE. Op COURAGE is an NHS programme, working in partnership with other organisations, such as Walking With The Wounded, to provide special support to veterans.


The Veterans’ High Intensity Service (HIS) provides care and treatment for former armed forces personnel (veterans) who are in a mental health crisis and need urgent help.

The Veterans’ High Intensity Service (HIS), the Complex Treatment Service (CTS) and the Veteran Liaison and Intervention Service (TILS) together make up Op COURAGE. Op COURAGE is an NHS programme, working in partnership with other organisations, such as Walking With The Wounded, to provide special support to veterans.

I am the Lead Veteran Liaison & Support Officer (VLSO) for the North West. I am part of the High Intensity service, working in partnership with the Leeds & York NHS Clinical Team, supporting veterans in a mental health crisis. My role involves supporting the four VLSO’s in my team, managing a caseload of clients and ensuring the best outcomes for them by accessing various organisations to assist, with any issues a client may have. This can include housing, financial assistance, family issues, isolation, volunteering, & employment. We support veterans for up to 12 weeks and ensure that we find ongoing support in the community, for when our service ends.

What does an average day look like for you?

We start each day with an NHS/VLSO team meeting, to discuss client plans and visits for the day. I will then go out to support my clients or attend initial meetings with the clinicians/crisis teams. All visits are recorded on the NHS systems so administration, takes up quite a lot of time! I am always out and about in the community looking for new services/organisations to support our clients, building up relationships and spreading the word about the HIS project. No two days are the same and can change at the drop of a hat if a new referral comes in, or a client changes the plans.

If you could change one thing about the support for veterans, what would it be?

To make accessing support easier. It can be so confusing as to who does what. Referral processes can be complicated and often, if a response isn’t instant, a veteran will just give up.

What is the best bit about your job?

I love to see the progression a client can make once they accept our support. We work with people for up to 12 weeks and in this short space of time, we can really make an impact and see positive changes. To see the smile on someone’s face when they do something they previously felt unable to do, or when they re-engage with family or work, it is just priceless.

And, what is the biggest challenge?

I cover quite a large area of the North West, so there can be lots of travelling and a bit of sitting in traffic queues on motorways! Due to Covid, many services are still not offering face-to-face appointments, and this can be really difficult for someone who is struggling with their mental health. I always try to ensure we have covid secure face-to-face visits, as this really helps when building relationships with someone who struggles over the phone and has a lack of trust in services.

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I would like the project to expand; to have more staff available to help more veterans. I would like to look at more joint working within all the WWTW projects like IPS Employment support, family support and welfare. I would also like to involve more of the veterans in shaping the future of the project, gaining their feedback and ideas on how to make it better.

Lastly, what has been the proudest moment in your job so far?

Receiving feedback from a client who said the HIS service “saved his life”. He was at rock bottom and felt life was not worth living. HIS got involved and slowly changed things with him for the better, he is now actively attending social groups and receiving intensive therapy for his PTSD.