²gether NHS Foundation Trust (²gether) has publically pledged its support to our armed forces communities.
The Corporate Covenant, which is voluntary commitment by businesses and charitable organisations to support the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Community, was signed at the Trust’s public Board meeting in Hereford on May 28.
The Trust is the first Mental Health NHS trust in the country to sign the Covenant and make a commitment to its two core principles:
- no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen; and
- in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved.
Representatives from local organisations associated with the armed forces and Herefordshire’s Lord-Lieutenant – The Countess of Darnley – joined the meeting to witness the signing and hear more from members of the armed forces community.
Shaun Clee, Chief Executive, said: “It is a privilege to sign the Covenant on behalf of the Trust. It signifies a firm commitment to our armed forces community and signifies the next stage in our continuing journey to ensure inclusive and fair access to services”.
Getting the right kind of help quickly for a mental health problem is directly linked to conditions becoming less complex in the future. However, evidence suggests that veterans may take longer to access services and face multiple challenges when returning to civilian life. This can include an understanding of the services available and how to access appropriate healthcare.
Shaun continued: “By signing the Covenant, our organisation supports the national drive towards local action. It is our pledge to make reasonable adjustments for everyone who needs our support”.
²gether provides direct access help for all people, including members of the armed forces community, through its Let’s Talk service. Support is available for a range of common problems including stress, anxiety and depression. For more information, visit ²gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter or telephone 0800 073 2200.