Skip to the content

Community and mental health services for Southampton, Portsmouth and parts of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


“Tell us you’re a veteran” – New High Intensity Service launched for military veterans facing mental health crisis

Veterans from across the South East facing a mental health crisis can quickly access dedicated help and support thanks to the introduction of a new High Intensity Service (HIS) that will be rolled out across the South East (SE) of England in phases.

The service, which launches on Monday 23 November, means that former service personnel or their loved ones can call NHS 111 if they need urgent mental health support or in a crisis, say they are a veteran and access rapid support, regardless of length of service. Mental Health practitioners in 111 offer dedicated mental health support and refer into the rest of the HIS team. The pathfinder, that links with existing mental health services for veterans, will be available across Hampshire, Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Oxford and Buckinghamshire.

It is part of a new HIS for veterans and their families across the South East, which aims to step in swiftly when a veteran experiences a mental health crisis or is struggling to engage with services and support them to access the right services to meet their needs during their crisis or after the crisis has subsided. This could be from the Veteran’s Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS), or access to a local mental health team, substance misuse team or Armed Forces Charity.

Following a referral into the service, callers will be contacted within eight hours from a Veteran Peer Support Worker from veterans’ support organisation, All Call Signs. Once accepted into the HIS team a range of support and care coordination will be available from the HIS team, which consists of both clinical and peer workers. At all points throughout the process, right up until the time of discharge, the Peer Support Worker stays in contact with the veteran or family member. In addition, where there are complex social needs around housing, benefits, relationships, employment or other social issues, a Veteran Liaison Support Worker, from Walking With The Wounded, will be able to offer more intensive face to face support.

The pathfinder in the South East, based on the NHS England specification, was informed by the Trauma in Mind report, a year-long study commissioned by Solent NHS Trust and NHS England into the experience of veterans and their families who require intensive healthcare services.

David Noyes, Chief Operating Officer at Solent NHS Trust and retired Naval Officer, said:

“Solent NHS Trust’s links with both serving and retired military personnel and their families is really important to us and we take our obligations through the Armed Forces Covenant extremely seriously.  This new High Intensity Service is a fantastic step in the right direction. We already have a strong track record working with veterans across the South of England and our expert team is looking forward to getting this new service up and running alongside our partners across the South East. The NHS has listened to the calls for an outstanding level of timely, responsive and specialist care and we are incredibly proud of the partnership working which will make this service possible.”

The pathfinder will begin with rolling out the dedicated 24/7 phone line across the SE service for veterans in need of urgent mental health support, with the wrap-around care from the rest of the HIS team rolled out across the SE in phases. Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is launching first on the 16 November, with Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Berkshire, Oxford and Buckinghamshire following over the coming weeks.

Kate Davies CBE, Director of Armed Forces NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “I am proud to see the South East of England offering the new Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS). This marks significant progress in terms of mental health service provision for veterans, focusing on individual care when it is most needed.  We have listened to veterans and their families to inform this new service, which includes crisis care and round the clock support to ensure those in need have access to the very best care.  Over the last few years, NHS England has launched the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service (CTS), which, together with the Veterans’ Mental Health High Intensity Service (HIS), now offer a complete mental health care pathway for veterans across England. I look forward to seeing all regions roll out the HIS over the coming months.”

Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) Operations Director, Fergus Williams, said: “The NHS is a key Partner for WWTW. Although the majority of former military men and women transition successfully to civilian life, a small but significant minority struggle. Those who need support can find their care pathway complex. The launch of the new High Intensity Service in the South East Region with Solent NHS Trust as lead provider will enable ex-military personnel and their families to navigate NHS veterans’ services with ease. Importantly, the High Intensity Service adds value to the already existing NHS Veterans Mental Health services. Partnering with the NHS is fundamental in creating a tailored community support service model which is championed by WWTW. This is a fantastic initiative which will make a significant difference to those that served.”

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

Please visit our services page for specific services and contact details. Alternatively, contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service by emailing or calling the number below. You can also give us feedback, make a complaint or share a compliment.

0800 013 2319

*Lines are open Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm.

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, with full access granted in January 2005.

The Act sets out exemptions to that right and places certain obligations on public authorities.


Phone: 0300 123 3919

*Subject to any exemptions which apply, we are obliged to provide the information requested please note that requests for Personal Information is not covered under this Act and should be applied for through the Data Protection Act 1998.

Our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton.

While our services can be found around various NHS locations in Southampton and Portsmouth (and surrounding districts), our administrative and managerial centre is based in Southampton at:

Highpoint Venue
Bursledon Road
SO19 8BR

If you require a printable version of how to find us including bus times, car access and bike info please download our leaflet. (Copyright of Highpoint Venue).

Central office phone: 0300 123 3390

*Lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

If you are a journalist with a media enquiry, please contact the Communications Team at:

0300 123 4156 or 02381 031076

The Communications Office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.