Help for Reservists - Mental Health

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by OldSnowy, Nov 21, 2006.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Altohugh mentioned some while ago, this has now been announced formally and - FAR more important from the MoD's viewpoint, is now funded:

    Reservists will qualify for enhanced support for mental health problems under a new programme announced by the Under Secretary of State Derek Twigg today, 21 November 2006.

    Under Secretary of State for Defence Derek Twigg at a contract award ceremony in September 2006 [Picture: MOD]
    The 'Reserves Mental Health Programme' (RMHP) is open to all current or former members of the UK Volunteer and Regular Reserves who have been demobilised since 1 January 2003 following deployment overseas and who believe that their deployment as a Reservist may have affected their mental health.
    Any Reservist who believes they are eligible should approach their GP who will refer them to the programme. If eligible, they will be offered a mental health assessment at the Reserve Training and Mobilisation Centre (RTMC) at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire. The assessment will be carried out by members of the Defence Medical Services. If they have a mental health condition related to their deployed Reserve service, they will be offered out-patient treatment at one of the MOD's 15 Departments of Community Mental Health around the UK.

    Under Secretary of State for Defence Derek Twigg announced details of the new programme during a visit to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) at Headley Court near Leatherhead, Surrey. The DMRC offers world class physical rehabilitation facilities to return injured Service personnel back to fitness and back to service as soon as possible. Mr Twigg said:

    "The Reserve Forces continue to make a vital contribution to the ongoing success of military operations. In return, we have a duty of care to them, and this new mental health programme is an important enhancement to the medical services that we provide."

    The MOD announced its intention to provide further mental health support to Reservists in May, when 'The Lancet' published research undertaken by the Kings Centre for Military Health Research. The findings showed that there had been no significant increase in ill health amongst Regular members of the Armed Forces who deployed on Operation TELIC, compared to those who did not. The study did however reveal that higher percentages of Reservists who did deploy displayed symptoms of common mental health problems and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) compared to Regulars who deployed or Reservists who did not.

    When deployed, Reservists are already entitled to the same medical treatment as Regulars. This includes support from trained mental health staff based in theatre or in the UK. Reservists are also offered pre- and post-deployment briefings to prevent and mitigate against the development of mental health disorders.

    The new programme will extend out-patient mental healthcare provision by the Defence Medical Services to Reservists who are diagnosed with mental health problems after they have been demobilised. If a case is particularly complex or acute and requires in-patient care, the Defence Medical Services will assist access to NHS treatment. However, we anticipate that any requirement for in-patient admission will be very rare.

    The 'Reserves Mental Health Programme' will initially run for a period of three years. It will be monitored throughout this period to ensure it meets the needs of demobilised Reservists. At the end of the three years, there will be a formal review to decide whether it should continue, be modified or discontinued.

    General The Duke of Westminster, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff responsible for Reserves and Cadets, said:

    "This is a clear improvement in the medical care offered to those Reservists who suffer from mental illness after their deployment."

    Sorry no link, as it's on the MoD internal website - but sure to be in the press tomorrow. You read it here first :)
  2. Good news, though it's taken far too long to be put in place. I note that the Minister doesn't mention what new resources, in terms of personnel and funding, have been made available.
  3. Good show!

    Is there a catch?

  4. Welcome news for a lot of people.

    Just for ease of reference, does anyone (step forward virobono) have a list of where the 15 are located?
  5. Aldershot, Brize Norton, Catterick, Colchester, Cranwell, Donnington (West Midlands), Faslane, Haslar (Portsmouth), Kinloss, Leuchars (Edinburgh), Marham, Plymouth, Tidworth, HQ Northern Ireland and Woolwich.

    There are also five satellite teams in Gibraltar, Cyprus, and Germany.

    Taken from here
  6. Good!!
  7. Probably important to point out that there are mental health staff in Iraq and Afghanistan as well (Army in Iraq and Navy in Afghanistan atm I believe). Rumour is that it will be TA MH staff in 07/08.
  8. As someone who has been personaly affected and let down by the MOD by the issues raised in this thread, I wholeheartdly support what is being done, however, these issues were raised a long time ago and it is a shame that it has taken this long for the MOD/Govt to pull the finger out and do somthing. As for the MH teams in theatre, yes, the CPNs and pshyc Drs do a great job.

    Only a couple of critisims, I would not be very keen to go to Chilwell, (who is), would it not be better to attend one of the sattilite centres, for assesment and possible treatment. Also shame they seem to have missed out the north west England in the list.

    And I know my spelling is sh1t.....
  9. Lance_Jacked,
    Sorry to hear you feel let down, and personally I'd agree that sooner is always better than later. However, once they made their mind up, this has been put in place PDQ.

    There is a temporary "surge" build next to RTMC (It is looked after by them, but actually run by a RN WO1, with a mixture of civillian telephone and admin staff, Mil CPNs doing the initial central assessment before referring out/on as required). Dress is civvies and accomodation in hotels apparently. It seems to make more sense whilst they see if there is a backlog of cases.

    You'll find that the DCMHs, although throughout the UK, they are sited in order to be near their regular RN/Army/RAF customers, and are thus a bit thin on the ground elsewhere. Personally, I wouldn't mind a bit of travel to get the right help, after all that's why I wouldn't want to see some civvi punter in the NHS in the first place.

    If anyone's interested, the number for the helpline is 0800 0326258, and the website is There are maps and directions, but I suspect we probably already know our way there by now...

    Let's hope them that need it grasp this opportunity.

    Non Certa et non Cito
  10. Welcome Handle Bar Bleep and thanks for posting the information.
  11. Who is staffing the new place at Chilwell? Is it civilians?
  12. The pracman is an RN MA, the call centre and admin staff are locally recruited and specially train civillians. I understand the assessments will be carried out by mil CPNs, either from RTMC mental health team or drawn from DCMHs, with onward referrals as required.

    I've managed to get a peek inside, and it's quite well set up, properley funrnished, IT systems, call centre etc. Looks like someone listened, instead of something Mickey Mouse TM. Hopefully, they'll put some fots on the website, but it's one of the poshest Portakabins I've ever seen!
  13. Last I heard, the MHT at Chilwell consisted of one person i.e. mental health qualified. Have they got more in? Are they regulars or TA? I do hope they haven't nicked them from the DCMHs which are already understaffed.
  14. MHT staffing is now 2 Mil pers, and extra will be rotated in from DCMHs as/when required.