Health and wellbeing services for the armed forces community

Taking care of those who have taken care of us. There are a range of services and support to help with your health and wellbeing.

The NHS have produced a service leavers guide.  It has some useful guidance to help you with the change from military to civilian healthcare. 

Alcohol and substance misuse

Barnsley Recovery Steps can help you to recover from and be free from drug and alcohol dependency. 

You can also find help and support about alcohol misuse through the NHS. They provide alcohol support and can signpost you to other organisations that can help.   

If you need help and treatment for drug addiction, you're also able to access NHS care. There's also support for family and friends available. 

Help for individuals

The following services can also help with problematic alcohol and substance use. Some services specifically tailored to support members of the armed forces community.

We are with you

Support for members of the armed forces community experiencing issues with drugs and alcohol. Visit we are with you or email

Combat Stress

A 24 hour helpline for veterans worried about their alcohol and substance use.  Call 0800 138 1619 or visit Combat Stress.  

Rehab Recovery

Support to recommend specific addiction treatment for members of the armed forces community.  Call 0800 088 6686 or visit Rehab Recovery.

Tom Harrison House

Provides a specialist recovery programme for UK armed forces veterans and emergency services personnel. Call 0151 909 8481 or visit Tom Harrison House.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery support for those struggling with addiction, offers tailored veteran, and family and friend programmes.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Support for problematic alcohol use.  Call 0800 9177 650 or visit Alcoholics Anonymous.

Narcotics Anonymous

Supports people battling substance misuse.  Call 0300 999 1212 or visit Narcotics Anonymous.


A national helpline for support with drug use.  Call 0300 123 6600 or visit FRANK.


A national alcohol helpline, call 0300 123 1110.

Help for family and friends

The following services support those affected by a loved one’s problematic alcohol or substance use:

Forces Family Support

Support for serving personnel, veterans and reservists.  Also support for family members affected by a loved one’s harmful use of drugs, alcohol, and gambling.  Call 0300 222 5747 or visit Forces Family Support.

Al Anon

Support for family and friends of problem drinkers.  Call 0800 0086 811 or visit Al-Anon.

Al-Ateen (part of Al-Anon) is a service for children aged 12 to 17 that are affected by a problem drinker in their lives.

National Association for Children of Alcoholics (NACOA)

Support for children of alcohol dependent parents.  Call 0800 358 3456 or visit NACOA.

Groups and activities 

Taking part in social groups can help your health and mental wellbeing. Attending these will help you get in touch with other like minded people. Take a look at our celebrate and support our armed forces community page for details.

Healthcare - NHS armed forces

After you leave the armed forces your healthcare comes under the NHS. You can take a look at the services offered for veterans.  

If you're worried about something in particular, you can find services from the NHS. Remember to let them know you're ex-armed forces. This may help you access services and treatment.

NHS Health Check

The NHS Health Check is for all adults in England aged 40 to 74. It checks your circulatory and vascular health. Find out more about the NHS Health Check.


The Veterans Physical Health and Wellbeing Service is an NHS service. It provides specialist care and treatment to veterans. For those who have physical health problems as a result of their time in the Armed Forces.

Op Courage 

NHS mental health and wellbeing specialist service. Designed to help serving personnel due to leave service, reservists, veterans and their families

Hearing loss

If you've served in the UK forces and now have hearing loss, tinnitus or both, you may be able to get help to access the Royal British Legion's veterans hearing fund.  

Visit veterans hearing support to find out more.

Help if you're disabled 

You may qualify for reduced price travel with a disabled person's travel pass or disabled person's railcard. You may also want to look at the Blue Badge scheme. This provides a badge so you can park in marked parking spaces closer to the place you're visiting. 

If you're disabled and need help with everyday living, contact our adult social care team to discuss your needs on (01226) 773300. Please tell them that you're ex-armed forces when you call.

You can also find out about any financial help you may be able to get.  

You can take a look at our disabilities and sensory impairment section to get more details on support available. 

Register with a doctor and dentist

You’ll need to register with a GP and dentist close to where you live. You can search to find a GP and find a dentist online. When you register, tell them that you've served in the forces. This will help them to better understand any health conditions you may have. It'll also make sure they refer you to services for ex-forces if needed.

It's important to give your new GP a copy of your military medical centre paperwork. This will help to make sure that your health records are transferred to your NHS health record. 

NHS guidance can help you to register with a GP.

Support for armed forces families

Keeping Families in Mind 

Keeping Families in Mind is a service funded by the Ministry of Defence.  It's for the families of serving and veteran armed forces personnel.

The service offers free, confidential counselling from a qualified therapist.

The Ripple Pond

Supporting adult family members of physically or psychologically injured British armed forces personnel and veterans. Call 0333 900 1028 or visit The Ripple Pond. 

Compass Be

Mental health and emotional wellbeing support for pupils and students in education settings. Visit Compass Be.

Little Troopers 

Support and advice for parents/families to deal with specific and unique challenges of being an armed forces family.  Visit Little Troopers.


Supports families of all armed forces personnel and veterans, with immediate or long-term support. Call 0800 260 6767 or visit SSAFA. 

Royal British Legion

Supports families of armed forces personnel and veterans.  Visit Royal British Legion to find out who can help.

Blind Veterans UK

Support for carers and loved ones of blind veterans.   Call 0300 111 22 33 or visit Blind Veterans UK.  

Naval Families Federation 

Information, advice, guidance, and support for Royal Navy and Royal Marine families. Call  02392 654374 or visit Naval Families Federation.

Army Families Federation 

Advice, information, and signposting for Army families.  Call 01264 554004 or visit Army Families Federation.

RAF Families Federation

Information, advice, guidance, and support for RAF families.  Call 01780 781650 or visit RAF Families Federation.

Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund 

Support for spouses, partners, dependent children and carers of RAF serving personnel and veterans. Call 0300 102 1919 or visit Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Army Benevolent Fund 

Support for serving army families. Call 020 7901 8900 or visit Army Benevolent Fund.

Royal Navy Benevolent Fund

Financial assistance and support for navy families.  Visit Royal Navy Benevolent Fund. 

Mental health support

You can look at our support for people with mental health issues section below.  This gives support to family members of serving personnel, reservists and veterans. 

Support for domestic and sexual violence

Domestic abuse and sexual violence, in any form, can affect anybody of any age, gender, or sexual orientation. There is lots of support available that can help with any form of domestic abuse and sexual violence.


NHS advice and help after rape and sexual assault.

New Dawn Aurora

Telephone and video link support to serving members of the Army and Royal Navy and their families. For anyone experiencing domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking. Call 023 92479254, or visit New Dawn Aurora.

Salute Her UK

Support for women veterans who have experienced sexual assault and associated trauma, including military sexual trauma.  Call 07861 748522 or visit Salute Her UK.

Independent Domestic Abuse Service (IDAS) 

Call 03000 110 110 or visit IDAS

Barnsley Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Services (BSARCS)

Support if you've been the victim of and impacted by domestic abuse.  Call on 01226 320 140 or visit BSARCS.

National Domestic Abuse helpline (Refuge)

Support for women and children.  Call 0800 2000 247 or visit refuge.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC’s)

Medical, practical and emotional support to anyone that has been raped, sexually assaulted or abused.  Visit SARC's.

Rape Crisis

24/7 rape and sexual assault support line.  Or call 0808 500 2222 or online chat available

Women’s Aid

Domestic abuse support for women and children.  Visit Women's Aid. 

Survivors Trust

National helpline for survivors of rape or sexual assault or violence aged 16 and above.  Call 0808 801 0818 or visit Survivors Trust. 

Male Survivors Partnership

Helpline for men and boys affected by sexual violence. Call 0808 800 5005 or visit Male Survivors Partnership.

Mankind Initiative

Support for male victims of domestic violence.  Call 01823 334244 or visit Mankind.

Men’s Advice Line (Part of Respect)

Helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.  Call 0808 8010327 or visit Men's Advice Line.


National helpline for LGBT+ victims and survivors of abuse and violence.  Call 0800 999 5428 or visit Galop.


National helpline supporting perpetrators of domestic abuse to stop their violence.  Call 0808 8024040 or visit Respect.

Inspire to Change

Support for perpetrators of domestic violence to find better ways to manage and control their violent behaviour. Visit Inspire to Change. 

Support for people with physical injuries

BLESMA: the limbless veterans

BLESMA helps service and ex-service personnel who have suffered life-changing limb loss or use of a limb, an eye or loss of sight.

BLESMA works with veterans suffering from injuries that have affected their lives.  Modern medicine can transform a physical injury, but it's a complicated process to treat the emotional trauma and related lifelong problems.

You can contact BLESMA on 0208 590 1124.

Blind Veterans UK

Blind Veterans UK believe that no one who has served our country should battle blindness alone. They provide vision impaired armed forces and national service veterans with the support they need to discover life beyond sight loss.

They help veterans re-learn vital life skills.  They provide veterans with the tools they need to be independent in their own homes. They offer learning, training and more, and provide long term nursing, residential and respite care.

You can contact them by phone on 0300 111 22 33.

Help for Heroes

Help for Heroes provides a range of support and services. These are for wounded, injured and sick service and ex-service personnel (regular and reserves) who have suffered illness or injuries.

Help for Heroes does this through services such as:

  • recovery centres in Tidworth (Wiltshire), Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth
  • the Hidden Wounds service (mental health support)
  • welfare support
  • grants to individuals and other charitable agencies
  • fellowships of ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Band of Sisters’

Disablement service centres 

Specialist prosthetic and rehabilitation support if you have lost a limb during Service. More details can be provided by your GP.

Defence medical welfare service

A MOD charity offering practical and emotional support to service personnel, veterans, and their families. This is offered after injury, illness diagnosis or when receiving medical treatment.  Call 0800 999 3797 or visit DMWS.

Op Restore 

An NHS service providing specialist care and treatment to veterans with physical health problems resulting from service.  Visit Op Restore

Support for people with mental health issues

Alright Pal

Talking about mental health and wellbeing is the first step towards suicide prevention. Talking about mental health doesn't have to be scary and can have a big impact on someone's life. Find out more about our Alright Pal campaign.  


Togetherall is an online mental health support service for veterans and those currently serving, their families and carers. It’s an online support group which aims to reduce the stigma of mental ill health.

It's free and anonymous for service and ex-service personnel.

CALM – Campaign Against Living Miserably

CALM is a charity that works to help prevent male suicide in the UK. It offers support to men of any age, who are down or in crisis. Support is offered through their helpline and website.

You can contact CALM by calling 0800 585 858.

Combat Stress

Combat Stress is the UK's leading veterans' mental health charity. It's helped more than 4400 veterans to rebuild their lives. It looks after veterans with a wide range of mental health issues and offers two services:

  • short-stay clinical treatment at one of their specialist centres in Ayrshire, Shropshire or Surrey
  • community outreach, to bring clinical care and welfare support to veterans in their local areas.

Treatment and support services are free of charge and are proven to work.

You can contact Combat Stress on 0800 138 1619 or text 07537 173683.

Help for Heroes – Hidden Wounds

Hidden Wounds can help veterans and armed forces' families living with anxiety, depression, stress, anger or alcohol. It's here to help people find ways of dealing with frustration and to help them to start enjoying everyday life again.

Free support is delivered by phone, Skype or face to face.


Mind supports people gain good mental health.

Keeping Families in Mind is a service funded by the Ministry of Defence. It's designed to provide support to families who are struggling with the demands of military life.

NHS mental health services

Barnsley Talking Therapies is confidential support for individuals. They deal with various mental health conditions, including anxiety, stress, low mood and depression.

Every Mind Matters offer advice to improve mental health and wellbeing.

NHS Foundation Trust 24 hour mental health helpline. Support and advice for your mental health call 0800 183 0558.

Op Courage an NHS mental health and wellbeing specialist service. Designed to help serving personnel due to leave Service, reservists, veterans and their families.

Exchange Recovery and Wellbeing College offer a range of free courses and workshops that promote wellbeing and good health.   

The NHS also offer complex mental health treatment for the armed forces community. Find out more about NHS mental health services.


Samaritans is a confidential service to talk to any time you like, in your own way. Their vision is that fewer people die by suicide.

Samaritans work to help with emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicidal feelings and behaviour. They do this by being available 24 hours a day to provide support for people who are struggling to cope.

You can call Samaritans any time on 116 123.

Headfit for Life 

A mental fitness tool specifically for the armed forces community. Visit Headfit for Life.   

Salute Her UK 

Supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of women veterans.  Call 07861748522 or visit Salute Her UK. 

Fighting with Pride

Supporting the health and wellbeing of LGBT+ veterans, service personnel and their families.  Visit Fighting with Pride.

Team Talk

Mental health peer support programme to support men’s mental wellbeing.  This is run by Barnsley FC Community Trust.  Visit Team Talk

Barnsley Mental Health Matters Support Hub

Out of hours mental health crisis service for over 18’s.  Visit Barnsley Mental Health Matters Support Hub

Andy’s Man Club

Peer to peer mental health support for men over 18.  Visit Andy's Man Club webpage  or Andy's Man Club Facebook page.

Creative Recovery

Creative Recovery is a group that uses creativity to support mental health and recovery.

Walking with the Wounded

Offers support to veterans and their families, including mental health and support care coordination.  Visit Walking with the Wounded


Papyrus is prevention of young suicide (under 35s). 


Support for anyone affected by suicide. Call 0330 088 9255 or visit Amparo.   

The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service  provides specialist care and support for those due to leave the armed forces, reservists and those who’ve already left.

Welfare, wellbeing and general support

Veteran's Moving Forwards Course 

A course to give veterans the tools to improve their mental wellbeing.  Designed and facilitated by veterans, for veterans. 

You can book a place with Barnsley recovery college.  Call Vicky Felton on 07386697966 or

You can find out more details about Veterans Moving Forwards Course

Veteran’s Gateway

Information and support for veterans and their families. Call 0808 802 1212 or visit Veteran's Gateway

Veterans UK

Compensation, pension, and welfare support to serving personnel and veterans. Call the free helpline 0808 1914 218 or visit Veterans UK.

Defence Transition Services (part of Veteran’s UK). Support for service leavers and their families.  For those who are most likely to face additional challenges on the transition from military to civilian life.

Veteran’s Welfare Services (part of Veterans UK). Provides professional, help and advice to veterans who have a welfare need.  This is also for anyone supporting a veteran, their families and dependants.

Naval Families Federation

Information, advice, guidance, and support for Royal Navy and Royal Marine families. Call 02392 654374 or visit Naval Families Federation

Army Families Federation

Advice, information, and signposting for Army families.  Call 01264 554004 or visit Army Families Federation

RAF Families Federation

Information, advice, guidance, and support for RAF families. Call 01780 781650 or visit RAF Families Federation

The Army Welfare Service

Personal and community welfare support for Army serving personnel and their families.

Helping with a range of personal support services.  Community support also helps with personal development opportunities for military personnel and their families. Visit The Army Welfare Service.

RAF personal support and social work service

Through SSAFA they offer a range of personal support services.  Visit RAF personal support and social work service.  

The Royal Air Forces Association 

Welfare advice and support for currently serving members of the RAF, RAF veterans, and their families.  Call 0800 018 2361 or visit RAF Association.

Royal Navy Family and People Support 

Support for Royal Navy serving personnel and their families. They help to navigate the unique challenges of Navy life.  Visit Royal Navy Family and People Support.

Royal Marines Charity

Transition, welfare, financial, wellbeing, employment, and education advice and support.  Offered for serving and retired Marines, and their families. Call 023 9298 1920 for more details.

Support our Paras

Welfare, wellbeing, financial, employment and training support.  Offered for parachute regiment and airborne forces serving personnel, veterans, and their families.  Visit Support our Paras.


Support for serving personnel, service leavers, veterans, and military families. Call SSAFA’s free and confidential advice line on 0800 260 6767 or visit SSAFA.

Royal British Legion

Support for serving personnel, service leavers, veterans, and their families.  Call 0808 802 8080 or visit Royal British Legion.

Defence Transition Services (part of Veteran’s UK) 

Support for service leavers and their families who are most likely to face additional challenges on the transition from military to civilian life.  Visit Defence Transition Services.   

Veteran’s Welfare Services (part of Veterans UK)

Provides professional, help and advice to veterans who have a welfare need. Also open to anyone supporting a veteran, their families and dependants.  Visit Veteran's Welfare Services.   

Help for Heroes 

Practical and wellbeing support for veterans and their families. Visit Help for Heroes.