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Mental Health Unit
Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG 

Phone – 0131 244 4006

Email – janet.megoran@gov.scot

Commitment 34

We will continue to fund the Veterans First Point service and explore roll out of a hub and spoke model on a regional basis, recognising that other services are already in place in some areas.

We will collaborate with the NHS and Veterans Scotland in taking this work forward and will also explore with Veterans Scotland how we can encourage more support groups and peer-to-peer activity for veterans with mental health problems.

Overview

The commitment has two strands:

  • To explore roll out of the Veterans First Point Lothian model on a regional basis with NHS Boards
  • To encourage more support groups and peer-to-peer activity for veterans with mental health problems
     
Roll Out of Veterans First Point

The Veterans First Point service in Lothian (V1P) is a one stop 'drop in' shop providing assistance to veterans and their families no matter what that need might be. It was positively evaluated as one of six UK pilots by the University of Sheffield, with a significant strength being the inclusion of peer support workers and a dedicated clinical service:

With information showing a concentration of veterans resident in Scotland in the North East and East coast of the country, as well as the central belt, we are asking NHS Highland, Grampian and Tayside to explore the future provision of services for veterans in their areas and the potential for roll out of the V1P Model where this is considered appropriate.

In doing so, we believe it makes sense to utilise the expertise and learning gained through V1P Lothian since its launch in 2009 and the potential for it to play a role in sharing the knowledge and experience it has gained to date to support other Regional areas to develop their approaches.

Support Groups and Peer-to-Peer Activity

The Mental Health Strategy recognises the broader demand for greater use of formal and informal peer support approaches; and the evidence base for self-management and self-help approaches in managing illness and sustaining recovery. We are therefore committed to encouraging more support groups and peer-to-peer activity for veterans with mental health problems.  

Progress

Roll Out of V1P

Good progress continues to be made and project groups within each of the three NHS Boards areas are currently developing plans around what will work best to improve access to mental health services in their areas. NHS Lothian are also co-ordinating an Armed Forces Covenant (LIBOR) Funding bid to support the educational and training role of V1P Lothian in supporting other NHS Boards to roll out the model. We will continue to work closely with the NHS Boards as this work progresses and firmer plans are developed.

Support Groups and Peer-to-Peer Activity

We have asked Veterans Scotland, Royal British Legion Scotland (RBLS), Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and the Mental Health Foundation Scotland (MHF) to work in partnership to consider the potential for utilising Royal British Legion Scotland branches to establish support groups in 15-20 places across Scotland over a three year period. The purpose of these support groups is to provide safe and effective guided self-help for the veterans community in Scotland. We will continue to take this work forward with our partners and the proposals, once further developed, could be the subject of a future LIBOR bid.