OP COURAGE - better support for military veterans.


The office for veterans’ affairs and the NHS have this month launched OP COURAGE aimed at making support for ex-service personnel more accessible. Aimed at those most at risk, Doctors, nurses and other NHS staff will work with military charities to provide therapy, rehab services and, in extreme cases, inpatient care to hundreds of former soldiers, sailors and RAF personnel each year.

Speaking in the house of commons MP Johnny Mercer spoke of a history of underinvestment and a promising plan going forward.



OpCourage is part of a nine-point plan unveiled by the NHS to help ex-service Men and Women have a successful integration into civilian life. Other commitments laid out in the plan include ensuring access to quality secondary care, reducing healthcare inequalities, and increased support for veterans’ families, children and carers.

Speaking at the annual Kings’ Veterans’ mental health conference at King’s College London, NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said:

 “We owe a special debt of gratitude to those who risk all for their country and the NHS is determined to do its part in honouring that.

Anyone can be affected by mental ill health but armed forces veterans may have seen and experienced things that few others – thankfully – will.

That can create a special set of challenges which working with military charities helps to overcome and that it what is at the heart of Op Courage – ensuring that the NHS is a National Hero Service.” 

Accessing the service. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health or wellbeing, expert help is available from Op COURAGE.

It does not matter if you’re due to leave the Armed Forces, just left the Armed Forces or left many years ago. Op COURAGE are here to help and understand the courage it takes to speak to someone.

When you contact Op COURAGE, you’ll speak to people who:

  • Understand the Armed Forces and military life
  • Are either from the Armed Forces community or highly experienced in working with serving personnel, reservists, veterans, and their families
  • Will work with you to make sure you get the right type of specialist care, support, and treatment. 

How to contact Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

  • In the North of England, call 0303 123 1145 or email vwals@nhs.net
  • In the Midlands or East of England, call 0300 323 0137 or email mevs.mhm@nhs.net
  • In London or the South East of England, call 020 3317 6818 or email cim-tr.veteranstilservice-lse@nhs.net
  • In the South West of England, call 0300 365 2000 or email gateway@berkshire.nhs.uk

 Urgent support

  • If you experience a mental health crisis (when you no longer feel able to cope or are not in control of your situation) you can contact Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service or you can get help by:
  • Calling 111
  • Booking an emergency GP appointment, visiting A&E or calling 999
  • If you're still serving, you can also call the Military Mental Health Helpline on 0800 323 4444. 
March 22, 2021 — James Fraser