Sup­port ser­vice for our vet­er­ans

The V1P La­nark­shire team at their re­cent open day

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE - Niki Ten­nant

A spe­cial­ist ser­vice which pro­vides ac­ces­si­ble, cred­i­ble and co-or­di­nated sup­port for vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies in La­nark­shire held an aware­ness event to mark Armed Forces Day.

Vet­er­ans First Point ( V1P) La­nark­shire seeks to sup­port vet­er­ans in all as­pects of their lives, in­clud­ing wel­fare, hous­ing, men­tal and phys­i­cal well­be­ing.

The free- to- use ser­vice, which is staffed by a spe­cial­ist team of psy­chol­o­gists, psy­cho­log­i­cal ther­a­pists and vet­eran peer sup­port work­ers, re­cently co-hosted the event with the Vet­er­ans Cafe at the King’s, Mother­well.

The VC@ the KC runs ev­ery Fri­day at the Kings Church be­tween 10am and 2pm.

Dr Jen­nifer Ring, coun­selling psy­chol­o­gist with NHS La­nark­shire, said she hopes the pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two or­gan­i­sa­tions will lead to more ex­cit­ing events in the fu­ture.

“The key aim of this event was to pro­vide a space for net­work­ing and ca­ma­raderie – and to show­case all the re­sources avail­able for vet­er­ans in La­nark­shire,” ex­plained Dr Ring.

“V1P works in close part­ner­ship with many agen­cies and or­gan­i­sa­tions, many of whom were rep­re­sented on the day, with the shared aim of sup­port­ing our vet­eran com­mu­nity.”

V1P La­nark­shire is a part­ner­ship be­tween vet­er­ans, NHS La­nark­shire, the Scot­tish As­so­ci­a­tion for Men­tal Health (SAMH) and the La­nark­shire As­so­ci­a­tion for Men­tal Health (LAMH).

As well as ac­cept­ing re­fer­rals from across health and so­cial care, in­clud­ing the vol­un­tary sec­tor, V1P also ac­cepts self-re­fer­rals.

Vet­eran peer sup­port work­ers (PSWs) are all ex-ser­vice­men or women and of­fer a first point of con­tact for any­one ap­proach­ing the ser­vice.

Dr Maria Gas­con, con­sul­tant psy­chol­o­gist with NHS La­nark­shire who leads V1P, said: “The PSWs en­sure that vet­er­ans see some­one, from the very out­set, who un­der­stands the mil­i­tary con­text and has first-hand ex­pe­ri­ence of the is­sues in­volved in tran­si­tion from mil­i­tary to civil­ian life.

“PSWs and clin­i­cal staff then work col­lab­o­ra­tively, en­sur­ing that vet­er­ans re­ceive co­or­di­nated sup­port, ap­pro­pri­ate to their needs at the time.

“Peo­ple can con­tact us by email, phone or can just turn up to one of our ac­cess points.”

V1P is open to any­one who has served in any of the Armed Forces.

It will also work with fam­ily mem­bers who are over 16, have a fam­ily con­nec­tion to the vet­eran and who have an iden­ti­fied need and wish to work with a spe­cial­ist ser­vice.

For more in­for­ma­tion, phone 0300 303 3051 or go along to the ac­cess point at Wishaw Li­brary in the Houldsworth Cen­tre, Ke­nil­worth Av­enue, Wishaw on Fri­days be­tween 11am and 2pm.


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