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Health

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact The Veterans Gateway – Advice and support for veterans and ex-forces by phone on 08‍08 80‍2 12‍12 text 81212 or contact Forcesline for confidential and independent support on 0800 260  6767.

General health

COVID 19 Advice:

If you are looking for advice about COVID 19 including symptoms, testing, self-isolation and vaccination.

The NHS offers a wide variety of services. Find out more about the NHS health services near you.

Getting Health Services:

Now you have left service, you will need to register with local health providers such as a doctor, dentist and optician. It is better to register as soon as possible. This could ensure there’s no break in any care and medication you’re getting from your military doctor.

To search for services near you please visit the links below. GP services.This link  provides information about GP services. it details  how to find, register and book an appointment with a local GP.

Choose dental services here.

The NHS recommends an eye test every two years. Contact your local optician an book an eye test with them directly. Find an optician near you.

When you find a doctor and dentist near where you live, or will be living, contact them directly and ask for a new patient form. Make sure you let your new doctor know that you are a veteran.

Pharmacists can help with minor illnesses and injuries. They also advise on the best over-the-counter medicines.

Chime Hearing is the Devon N.H.S. partner for hearing health. Chime are a social enterprise, who specialise solely in hearing. We are trying to raise awareness of hearing loss amongst Veterans and also the new government hearing fund available to veterans (Veterans Hearing Fund).

Out of hours

If you have a health problem at night or over a weekend, or if you aren’t yet registered with a doctor, there are 24 hour services you can use.

NHS 111

You can call the NHS 111 service to get urgent medical advice at any time. An adviser will assess your situation and advise you  what to do next.
Call: 111

NHS walk-in centre

Access a walk-in centre for issues like sprains, broken bones minor burns, infections and animal or insect bites. They deal with issues that probably won’t need hospital admission and you should get seen quicker than going to A&E.
Find a walk-in centre near you.

A&E  

If your situation is life-threatening or may need a hospital admission go at once to A&E or call 999 for an ambulance. This includes, loss of consciousness, bleeding that can’t be stopped and persistent severe chest pain.
Find your nearest A & E department here .

Below are some new healthy lifestyle Services available in Devon

One Small Step can offer support to quit smoking, reduce drinking, eat more healthily, lose weight or be more active.

One You looks at small changes to areas like sleeping, drinking, eating and moving can help you to have a healthier lifestyle. Take the one you quiz to find out how healthy you are and where you can improve.

Mental health

If you are experiencing any of the following and,  it concerns you speak to your GP.

  • feeling anxious
  • having trouble sleeping
  • feeling down or depressed
  • struggling with anger or aggression
  • starting to rely on alcohol or drugs

Your GP can help with advice, medication and can refer you to specialist services that can help you. Find a doctor near you.

Support for Veterans

We understand that, as a result of the news surrounding Afghanistan, many military personnel – past and present – may be feeling on edge right now. It’s natural to experience all sorts of emotions, and some may feel overwhelming. However, if your threat dial is up, you feel on high alert or ‘sparking’, or you notice your anxiety levels feel high right now.

You can text 07537 173683 (standard charges may apply for texts) or email helpline@combatstress.org.uk  or visit the combatstress website here.

We encourage all veterans, particularly those who served in Afghanistan, to call our free confidential 24-hour Helpline on 0800 138 1619 if their mental health has been impacted by what is happening in Afghanistan.

Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.Op COURAGE can help you and your family with a range of support and treatment, including:

  1. supporting you with intensive emergency care and treatment if you’re in a crisis
    helping you transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS)
  2. supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping you access local services
  3. helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
  4. helping you to access other NHS mental health services if you need them, such as finding an NHS psychological therapies service (IAPT) and eating disorder services
  5. helping you get in touch with charities and local organisations who can support your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as housing, relationships, finances, employment, drug and alcohol misuse and social support

https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/armed-forces-community/mental-health/veterans-reservists/

For the South of England:

Call 020 3317 6818 or email cim-tr.veteranstilservice-ise@nhs.net

Op COURAGE urgent care call 02394 387 924 or email snhs.veteranshis.se@nhs.net

Southwest England call 0300 365 2000 or email gateway@berkshire.nhs.uk

Devon Partnership Trust

DPT has a dedicated veteran’s service. They  also provide mental health services to support people with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and addiction. You can access these services directly or be referred by your GP.

Mental Health Care for Veterans and their loved ones. Services include access to self-guided support, one to one and group therapy, all provided by our qualified psychological wellbeing therapists

Samaritans

If you want to talk to someone in confidence about your mental health and wellbeing you can phone Samaritans. They can help if you feel suicidal, if you feel like you’re in a crisis situation or if you just need to talk to someone.
Call: 08457 90 90 90 – 24 hour helpline or email  jo@samaritans.org

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the veteran’s mental health charity. They support anyone who has served and may be struggling mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks. Treatment is free of charge. If you need support, please call 0800 138 1619

Serving personnel and their families can call 0800 323 4444.

You can also text on 07537 173683 or email helpline@combatstress.org.uk

Hidden Wounds

If you or a loved one are experiencing difficulties with your mental health, the Hidden Wounds service can provide confidential advice and support.

They offer a clinical assessment to help identify the most appropriate treatment plan, followed by a range of evidence-based psychological therapies tailored to individual needs. They also offer self-care resources co-produced with other veterans.

To speak about your individual support needs if you are in the South West of England call South West England and Wales 01752 562179.

The Warrior Programme

This programme enables individuals to manage their emotions and to develop the resilience, focus and motivation to succeed in today’s world. The programme has been developed over the last ten years to meet the demands and challenges experienced by past and present members of the armed forces and their families.

The South Western contact is Rebecca Gallimore, you can call on 07562 255721  or email rebecca.gallimore@warriorprogramme.org.uk

Hush Farms

Hush Farms provides time out from the hassles of day-to-day life, in the company of horses. Our unique sessions and workshops are perfect if you would like a little relief from the pressures of daily life, in absolute tranquillity. Previous visitors range from people looking for some time to refresh and revitalise, whilst others are changing their careers; some are former members of the armed forces, others are carers.

They create bespoke experiences that can be tailored to every visitor.

Office opens at 10am weekdays call 0333 772 0702 or alternatively on
07791 344216. Email:info@hushfarms.co.uk

Together All

Togetherall is a safe, online community where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. Millions of people in the UK have access via their participating employer, university, college, NHS provider or local council. All armed forces personnel, veterans and their families (16+) also have free access.

The South West Veterans Service

The South West Veterans Service encourage veterans and their families to recognise the signs of problems looming, understand the issues that influence this and help them find the expert support that they need. We are doing this by setting up a network of contact points around the South West, including mental health trusts, charities and other related organisations. Call 0300 300 2288.

Injury and mobility

Disabled Facilities Grant

If you have a disability, you may be eligible for a Disabled Facilities Grant to help towards the cost of any adaptations.

If you or a family member are a wounded veteran, looking for financial support to ease the distress caused by your illness of injury, Help for Heroes may be able to help with various grants and support available. Please explore the links below:

The Royal British Legion

We provide lifelong support to our Armed Forces community and their families.
From providing dedicated care homes for older veterans, to support for carers, to helping ex-serving personnel and their families to live safely at home – we’re here to help people live on through life. We support independent living from small home adaptations, to installing personal alarms, or support with funding for new equipment, 

Teams are based across the UK and, as well as home maintenance and repairs, they can also provide support so that you or your loved ones can access the services you might need.  Find out more about care and independent living.

Adaptations to your home 

The Independent Living Centre 

For over 25 years our NHS Occupational Therapy team has been helping people in Devon find equipment solutions to stay active and independent.  We are not a shop, we won’t try to sell you anything, which is why you can trust us to guide you through the solutions to suit you. You can call, email or book an appointment to visit our Occupational Therapy team.

Band of Brothers – Help for Heroes 

The Help for Heroes Band of Brothers is a network open to Veterans, Service Personnel and those who have served alongside our Armed Forces who have been wounded, injured or sick during, or as a result of, their Service and resulting in an ongoing need for support. 

If you would like to sign up to the Band of Brothers, we would love to hear from you. Please, could you send an email to getsupport@helpforheroes.org.uk . Let us know  if you would like to become a member and,  whether you are currently serving or a Veteran.  One of the team will be in touch with you as soon as possible. 

Help with mobility – SSAFA 

SSAFA volunteers have plenty of experience in finding solutions for veterans seeking financial support to help maintain their mobility and independence at home. 

Whether your mobility problems are caused by getting older or an existing medical condition, our volunteers are trained to help you get the equipment that you need, including mobility scooters, stairlifts and recliner chairs. 

SSAFA’s services are only available to people who have received at least one day’s pay from the Armed Forces (British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Marines, including Reserves), or are in the immediate family of someone who served. 

Call:0800 260 6767 

Physiotherapy 

If you need physiotherapy a number of different options are available to you. 

You can see a physiotherapist:  

  • by getting a referral from a doctor 
  • by contacting a physiotherapist directly 
  • at your GP surgery 
  • privately 

Physiotherapy can also sometimes be accessed through occupational health services, charities, patient groups and the voluntary sector .

Mobility vehicles – Motability 

Motability offers grants to disabled people who may need help towards the costs of their transportation needs. The  Access to Mobility Grant Funding Programmes have been created to support our vision: that no disabled person shall be disadvantaged due to poor access to transportation. 

The following grant programmes are available through the Access to Mobility Grant Funding: 

  • Driving Lessons Grant Programme 
  • Stopped Allowance Support Programme 
  • Transitional Support Package 
  • Additional Transitional Support Grant Programme 
  • Access to Work Grant Programme 

Contact Motability the Charity on 0800 500 3186 to be considered for funding through one of our grant programmes. Find out more about the help offered through Access to Mobility Grant here.

Alcohol and drugs

If you think that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs, there is a variety of help available.

Find help in your area about alcohol issues.

Are drugs worrying you? Find drug addiction support services and help in your area.

NHS information

The NHS has a host of information and advice available about excessive drinking, reducing your alcohol intake and finding help and support.

They also offer this for drugs. This link will take you to Information and advice about drug treatment, getting help and support and understanding the effects of drugs.

Addiction is defined as not having control over doing, taking, or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you Information on all types of addiction, their effects and ways to get help.

To speak to someone anonymously about any type of addiction, you can call the Samaritans free on 116 123.The  NHS website provides Information and advice on problem gambling including online tips and links to other services available

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of adults who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

They offer a national helpline call 0800 9177 650  or email: help@aamail.org

Their website details a variety of choices and provides online advice

We are With Youpreviously Addaction offers both online advice and to access services anywhere in England and Scotland

Worried about your own or someone else’s drug or alcohol use? Get in touch with a free confidential service. Find a With You drug and alcohol service.

Drinkaware

Drinkaware is another service that  has useful advice about managing your drinking, Options include a self-assessment tool and an app that can track your alcohol intake.

Drink Less Better Health NHS

Cutting back on the booze can be a really effective way to improve your health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money. Any reduction in the amount you drink every week will be beneficial – and with the right support, it’s easier than you think. We have some simple tips and tools to help you start cutting down today. Let’s do this!

Narcotics Anonymous

NA is a non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. They offer a helpline, meetings and a variety of support and resources.

Helpline open: 10:00am – midnight call 0300 999 1212

EDP

EDP Drug & Alcohol Services are passionate about supporting individuals who face complex issues, including substance misuse, mental ill health, and other harmful, addictive and offending behaviour, to improve their health, wellbeing and employability. They work primarily in the South West, providing services across Devon and Dorset, in the community and within prisons.

Stop smoking

To find out about the ten ways quitting smoking will benefit your health look at the nhs website link listed here quit smoking.

There are lots of reasons to quit smoking – for you and for others. Free support and nicotine replacement therapy is available on prescription with the Devon NHS Stop Smoking Services.

There are now many ways to get help quitting so you can choose a method that suits your lifestyle. You are four times more likely to be successful if you use face-to-face support from NHS Stop Smoking Services

Find your local stop smoking service (LSSS)  .

There is also a Better Health website link. This site offers a free downloadable app, personal quit plans, information on stop smoking aids and a link to find your local service.

Stop today

If you think you could benefit from some support to stop smoking, get in touch today. You can either  complete our contact us form or, If you would prefer to talk to someone on the telephone about this service and its benefits to you. Telephone  01392 908 139 or use our online chat (bottom right) to talk to one of our friendly team. Or text ‘QUIT’ to 60777.

Sexual health

Sexual Health

This Sexual health section includes advice and services for:

  • relationships
  • contraception
  • abortion
  • sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

Sexual Health Services

Find information on opening hours and where to find your nearest sexual health clinic here.

You can access contraception information and advice services here.

Want to find out more about contraception options here.

Getting contraception – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
If you need emergency contraception services, find a service near you.

Unplanned Pregnancy?

An unplanned pregnancy can turn your world upside down. It may have come at the wrong time, or with the wrong person. You may feel under pressure to have an abortion, or feel anxious about what life with a child might be like. The fears are often made worse by not being able to talk about it with the people you trust.

The Pregnancy Crisis helpline are able to provide you a safe and confidential place to talk through your situation. Whether you don’t feel like you can keep your baby or you are thinking of having an abortion, or perhaps you are just scared of the journey ahead – get in touch, they will listen and help you explore your choices.

For a confidential chat call 0800 368 9296 or visit their website.

Find your nearest NHS Unplanned pregnancy information and support services here.

Need to find abortion (pregnancy termination) services.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

If you think you may have a sexually transmitted infection treatment and testing is available. Access your nearest service here.

HIV Services

The Eddystone Trust is an independent organisation providing information and support for anyone affected by HIV across the South West. Some services also relate to wider sexual health.

There are a variety of HIV Advocacy and support services which include charities, community groups and legal advice .

Needing services for both drugs and HIV.

Many GP practices offer a full range of contraception, including the contraceptive coil and contraceptive implant, as well as chlamydia screening for young people.
Chlamydia screening is free to under 24year olds. To see where you can get a free test through the post or where in Devon you can collect one. It is recommended to do this annually or when you change a sexual partner.

Help after rape and sexual assault

If you have been sexually assaulted, whether as an adult or a young person, it is important to remember that it wasn’t your fault. Sexual violence is a crime, no matter who commits it or where it happened. Don’t be afraid to get help.

Dementia

About Dementia a Dementia Guide

To find out what is Dementia, Symptoms, and diagnosis, living with Dementia, Care and support, and how you can help please visit the NHS site.

If you or a loved one has had a diagnosis of dementia you can get practical advice and support from Alzheimers.org.uk. They have a dementia directory to find local support services for people with dementia and their carers.

They also offer a dementia contact support line 0333 150 3456

Local Dementia Services:

Across Devon that are groups and services such as memory cafes and support groups, to help you or your loved one manage with dementia.

The Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance (PDAA) is made up of over 100 organisations who have come together to transform the quality of life for people with dementia and those who care for them in Plymouth.

If you or someone you know is worried about becoming increasingly forgetful, particularly if they’re older than 65, you should talk to your doctor about the possibility of dementia. Getting a diagnosis gives the person and their family/carers the best chance to prepare for the future.

Domestic abuse

Domestic Abuse

In immediate danger?  Call 999 now.

There are a range of services across Devon to support people who are affected by domestic violence and abuse. Apart from when reporting to Devon and Cornwall Police, you do not have to give your name or contact details to any agency.

What is domestic abuse?

Domestic abuse is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

All forms of domestic abuse are not acceptable in any situation.

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and feel frightened of, or controlled by, a partner, an ex-partner or family member, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and there is no shame in seeking help.

It may seem like a difficult step to take, but there is support available and #YouAreNot Alone. Free, confidential support and advice is available to victims and their concerned family members or friends, 24 hours a day.

Who can help?

If you need to talk to someone. or you want to access support over the phone, you can call the  National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247 . There is also the choice for an online live chat (run by REFUGE)

There is a Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors, call
0808 801 0327 (run by Respect).
The Mix, provide free information and support for under 25s in the UK call
0808 808 4994
The National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline is available on 0800 999 5428 (run by Galop)
Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

Rights of Women advice lines also offer a range of services.

WOMENS AID

Women’s Aid is a grassroots federation working together to provide life-saving services in England and build a future where domestic abuse is not tolerated.

If you’re experiencing abuse, they offer the choice of a Live Chat. The opportunity to
Connect to a support worker with their new instant messaging service. Contact via email to a support worker. We will reply in 5 working days. A survivor’s handbook and a forum where you can speak to other women in our supportive community of survivors.

Call National Women’s Aid on 0808 2000 247 for women experiencing domestic violence

Devon Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Alliance Website

The DSVA Alliance website provides a range of advice and information for people who have experienced domestic or sexual violence and abuse, either as a victim or perpetrator. The website includes links to services and practical advice and information.

Devon Domestic Abuse Support Service

Devon Domestic Abuse Support Service (DDASS) is a charity that offers advice, guidance and support to women, men and children affected by domestic abuse.
Their main aims are to increase safety and improve wellbeing. You can self refer by calling 0345 155 1074 or email: admin.devon@splitz.org.uk

Stop Abuse For Everyone (also called SAFE),
SAFE exists to end domestic violence and abuse in Devon. SAFE has over 40 years of experience in providing a range of specialised domestic violence services.
You can contact them by Phone:030 30 30 0112 for enquiries about SAFE services
email:info@safe-services.org.uk.

You do not have to wait for an emergency situation to find help. If domestic abuse is happening to you, it’s important to tell someone and remember you’re not alone.

The campaign, UK SAYS NO MORE is working with Boots UK, Morrisons, Superdrug and Well pharmacies, TSB banks and independent pharmacies across the UK to provide Safe Spaces in their consultation rooms for people experiencing domestic abuse.

How to access a safe space

  • walk into any participating pharmacy in the UK
  • ask at the healthcare counter to use their safe space
  • a pharmacist will show you to the safe space. Which will be the consultancy room.
  • once inside, you will find displayed specialist domestic abuse support information for you to access, to make that call or access bright sky safely.
    safe spaces are open and ready for you to use.

Mankind

Male Victims of Domestic Abuse – Please call 01823 334244 to speak  confidentially to someone. This confidential helpline is available for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence across the UK as well as their friends, family, neighbours, work colleagues and employers.

They provide an information, support and signposting service to men suffering from domestic abuse from their current or former wife, partner (including same-sex partner) or husband.

This can range from physical violence or object throwing to abuse such as constant bullying or insults.

The helpline is a listening service which provides emotional support, practical information and signposting. They receive calls from male victims of domestic abuse across all age ranges and professions:

  • from dustmen and doctors, to, bankers and builders
  • from men in their 20s to men in their 80s
  • from men in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

The helpline also welcomes calls from friends, family members, neighbours, colleagues and employers of male victims seeking information.

Another helpline for men is RESPECT. Men’s Advice Line. The Helpline for male victims of domestic abuse. Freephone 0808 8010327

Sexual violence

Call 999 now if you are in immediate danger

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, the police encourage you to report it to them All reports of rape and sexual assault  are taken seriously, no matter when they happened or who you are. They also investigate reports of rape or sexual assault that might have happened a long time ago.

These are very serious crimes and the police have specially-trained police officers to help and advise you. If you report it ,you can help them catch the perpetrator and maybe stop it happening to someone else.

There are a number of ways to report a rape or sexual assault:
If you require immediate assistance, call 999. Alternatively, you can call 101 or
you can visit your local police station.

Help after rape and sexual assault

If you have been sexually assaulted, whether as an adult or a young person, it is important to remember that it wasn’t your fault. Sexual violence is a crime, no matter who commits it or where it happened. Don’t be afraid to get help. Help after rape and sexual assault.

Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual act or activity. Sexual violence can be perpetrated by a complete stranger, or by someone known and even trusted, such as a friend, colleague, family member, partner or ex-partner. Sexual violence can happen to anyone. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted recently, help is available.

Rape Crisis Helpline

Providing specialist, independent and confidential services, Rape Crisis promotes the rights of women who have experienced sexual abuse.

They also provide other information and tools to help you cope.
Call: 0808 802 9999
Lines are open 7 days a week between 12 noon–2.30pm and 7pm–9.30pm

Devon Rape Crisis Service

We offer confidential, professional support to survivors of rape, sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse in Devon.

It doesn’t matter if the abuse took place yesterday or twenty years ago, we are here to help. We are excellent listeners and we will always believe you. If you’d like to talk to us about receiving support from our service, please call our office number of
01392 208756 or email info@devonrapecrisis.org.uk. This is not our helpline number.

Phone: 01392 204174 for the helpline. Lines are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 6pm-9pm
Email:support@devonrapecrisis.org.uk
Visit: https://devonrapecrisis.org.uk/

Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services

This service offers an anonymous helpline 01392 204 174.
You can also visit their website to find details of other service available.

Victim Support

Victim Support is an independent charity dedicated to supporting victims of crime and traumatic incidents in England and Wales.

Need help after crime?

Fill in our online form for independent,free, confindential support and advice. Someone from your local victim care team will contact you within three working days (Mon to Fri). If you want to speak to someone now, call our free 24/7 Supportline – 0808 16 89 111 or start a live chat. In an emergency always call 999.

Our service is confidential and we will only share information about you without your consent if we’re worried about your safety or someone else’s safety, or if we are required to by law.

If you are looking for help with your situation you can contact The Veterans Gateway on
0808 802 1212 or text 81212. Advice and support for veterans and ex-forces available here.