Support service for our veterans
The V1P Lanarkshire team at their recent open day
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.