Dedicated mental health support for Falklands War veterans
To mark the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, Dorset HealthCare is reminding veterans and their families that help and support remains just a phone call away.
The South West Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS) is geared to people who have served in the Armed Forces, and offers specialist care to anyone still dealing with the impacts of conflicts like the one in the South Atlantic in 1982.
The war began when Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Islands on 2 April, leading to the UK to dispatch a military taskforce of almost 26,000 personnel to liberate the Islanders.
Following several weeks of intense fighting, Argentine forces surrendered on 14 June. A total of 255 British personnel lost their lives during the conflict, with many more wounded.
Anniversary commemorations will be taking place nationally and locally between now and 14 June, and the memories may be difficult for some to bear.
Kevin Moore, Armed Forces Covenant Co-ordinator for Dorset and a local Falklands veteran, said:
“I would like to express Dorset’s gratitude and appreciation to all who served during the Falklands conflict in 1982. We know there are many veterans of the war who still struggle with physical and mental scars, and some have faced life challenges or hardships since the war ended.
“There is support available for both current and past members of the armed forces and their families in Dorset, and I would like to encourage those struggling to get the help they need.”
The South West Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS) can be contacted simply by calling NHS 111, or speaking to your GP.
Anyone due to leave the armed forces, who have just left or who finished serving years ago can all access help. They will speak to people who understand military life, who are either from the armed forces community or are highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families. These staff will ensure the right type of specialist care, support and treatment is provided.
Andy Gritt, Clinical and Operations Manager for the South West Veterans’ Mental Health HIS, said:
“We recognise the time during the anniversary of the Falkland Islands conflict will be hard for many who served, as well as their families. We want to assure you that expert help is available from our High Intensity Service.
“If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health, we are here to help. The service to here to support veterans, provide stability and help them to access other services, as well as provide support to their family and loved ones.”
The South West HIS is part of Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service. This brings together specialist NHS mental health services to support former military personnel and their families across the country.
For more information, visit our website page.