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Ope Courage and the NHS Veteran Mental health and Wellbeing Service log. Blue and white background with the text: We don't believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness. and the veterans emotional support line, 0300 323 0139

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service


Welcome to Op COURAGE for the East of England. We cover the regions of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire & Milton Keynes. For information on Op COURAGE in other regions across England, please visit the NHS website.

We are an NHS community mental health service for Veterans and service leavers, designed to provide specialist guidance and access to specific treatments, where appropriate. We are therefore a specialist supplement and do not replace existing NHS mental health services, nor provide immediate handling in a crisis.

The East of England Op COURAGE service is a partnership comprising of six experienced organisations that form an integrated service. EPUT is the lead provider and works closely with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust and charity partners; St Andrew’s Healthcare, Mental Health Matters, Walking With The Wounded and The Warrior Programme.

Need urgent help?

To speak a professional for urgent health and care advice:

  • Call NHS 111 (24 hours)
  • Call 999 if your life is in danger
  • Go to A&E in an emergency

Remember to tell whoever you speak to, that you or the person you are calling about, has served in the UK armed forces so they can give you the right information.

Service Information

We know that life in the Armed Forces is unique, and with all the positives that it may bring, it may also bring some specific challenges. It can sometimes be difficult for others to understand this, so each member of our team has either a military background, or experience working with the Armed Forces community. We understand military life.

We don’t believe that asking for help is a weakness.

What we do

We aim to provide a gateway to support for our Veteran population who are struggling with their mental health - finding you the right service, at the right time. We may offer you an assessment with a registered mental health professional, to understand your needs fully.

Depending on your mental health needs, we may be able to:

  • help with initial mental health difficulties arising from your transition out of the Armed Forces
  • introduce you to the right health service to meet your needs, whether that is within the Op Courage treatment pathway for specialist military-focused treatment, or other appropriate organisations or NHS services, such as NHS Talking Therapies or Community Mental Health Teams
  • guide you to local and national organisations or Veteran charities who can help you with other areas of your life, such as; employment, housing, finances, personal relationships, alcohol/substance use concerns, general wellbeing, or criminal justice issues
  • joint work with other NHS services to support your engagement in care and treatment, where required
  • guide families and carers into gaining support

Who we can support

  • Armed Forces personnel who have a discharge date
  • Reservists who are not currently mobilised
  • Those who have left the Armed Forces
  • Those who have served in the Merchant Navy in support of military operations

If you are an Afghan person now living in the UK, and previously assisted the British Armed Forces in Afghanistan between October 2001 – August 2021, you may refer into the service using the below portal:

Warm Welcome Afghan Service | London Veterans Service (

Other services support

This is a service that helps Veterans who are in contact with the criminal justice system, by providing emotional and practical support

This is a service that helps Veterans who have service-related physical health problems (previously known as the Veterans Trauma Network). Only your GP can refer in to this service, so please contact them if you require a referral.

This is a service that helps Veterans who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness.

Referral Information

To be eligible for referral, you must:

  • be resident in England and have served in the UK armed forces for a full day
  • be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing and eligible to register with a GP
  • provide your military service number or suitable evidence of service

It does not matter how long ago you left the forces, your rank, what gender you identify as, or your reason for leaving.

You may self-refer, or anyone can refer on your behalf, including family or professionals.

You can call the referral line number, 0300 034 9991 (between the hours of 0800-2000)or send a completed referral document to

Get help?