Health and Wellbeing

North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network  has been established to ensure that there is active and meaningful dialogue between the full range of agencies in the North Essex area concerned with the mental health of veterans. Whilst still developing, the network aims to eventually involve representatives of local NHS mental health trusts, IAPT and substance misuse services, local authority social services, defence medical services, military operational staff, specialist voluntary sector (e.g. Combat Stress, Royal British Legion, SSAFA), mental health voluntary sector (e.g. Mind, Rethink, Turning Point), generic voluntary sector (e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau, Timebank), primary care, universities and representative service users and carers.

Forces Poetry is part of Forces Literary Organisation Worldwide  which was set up to offer help to those who have suffered from the affects of war, including the suffering shared by family members and friends too. Our sites allow anyone to read other peoples writings, people who may have also had similar experiences and troubles. Just reading poems or stories and realising that others have been through the same or similar things can be a great comfort. To be able to write what you feel in a poem or a story is an opportunity to release your deepest emotions and feelings in a safe environment and without exposing your real name too if you prefer. There is a vast amount of research proving the therapeutic value of writing poetry or stories and our mission is to allow people to help themselves by doing just that.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leadingmilitary charity specialising in the care of Veterans’ mental health. We look after men and women who are suffering from a psychological condition related to their Service career. This might be depression, anxiety, a phobia or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Our services are free of charge to the Veteran.

Talking 2 Minds Founded by Bob Paxman (former 22 SAS) in 2008 Talking 2 Minds’ ethos was ‘Veterans helping Veterans’. That ethos remains to this day although, as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other severe stress-related conditions affect all sectors of society, it has now become ‘Like helping Like’. Our approach offers REAL HELP, FREE OF CHARGE, to those who like Bob have experienced PTSD or severe stress-related conditions.

Monthly Veterans Support Group in Colchester  Held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 10am to 12noon and hosted by Combat Stress at The Weston Homes Community Stadium – in the Community Café to the left of the main entrance. There is also an opportunity to take part in a football session organised by Colchester United if enough people are interested, so please bring some kit if you fancy a kick about. Come along for a coffee and a chat with other veterans and also representatives from Combat Stress, the Royal British Legion, Veterans First and others. The Weston Homes Community Stadium United Way, Colchester, Essex. CO4 5UP Tel: 01206 752443 Dates: Tuesdays 20 November – 18 December 2012 15 January – 19 February – 19 March – 16 April 2013

Veterans Social Group – for veterans of all ages.  First Friday of the month 10.00 – 12.00 The Royal British Legion Chelmsford Branch 168 New London Road Chelmsford Essex CM2 0AR Tel: 01245 348818