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Armed forces veterans in Herefordshire and Gloucestershire are being urged to seek support if they are experiencing mental health issues.

The call comes in advance of Armed Forces Day this Saturday (June 25), and by the first mental health NHS trust to sign the Corporate Covenant.

²gether NHS Foundation Trust signed the Corporate Covenant a year ago, as a sign of 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.

Shaun Clee, ²gether’s Chief Executive, said: “When we signed the covenant a year ago, it underlined our commitment to supporting military personnel and veterans.

“We know that the earlier people seek help for mental health conditions, the better the outlook is for a swift and straight forward recovery. However, we also know that veterans may take longer to seek help.

“As Armed Forces Day approaches I would encourage all veterans to speak up if they are experiencing any form of mental health issue and if you know a veteran who needs support, please encourage them to seek it.”

There are a variety of ways in which veterans can seek support. These include:

·    Speaking to your GP
·    Ringing ²gether NHS Trust’s Let’s Talk service on 0800 073 2200
·    Visiting the Let’s Talk website at www.²gether.nhs.uk/feelbetter
·    Visiting Big White Wall at www.bigwhitewall.com
·    Ringing the Samaritans on 116 123
·    Ringing Combat Stress on 0800 138 1619
·    Visiting the Combat Stress website at www.combatstress.org.uk

²gether will be participating in the Herefordshire 1916 Centenary Commemoration and Armed Forces Day celebrations in Ledbury on Saturday. The free event runs from 10am until 4pm in Ledbury High Street.

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