The Scottish Veterans Care Network is delighted to launch the

Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan, which is now available to download here


The Action Plan aims to ensure veterans can lead a healthy, positive life and reach their full potential by accessing timely, high quality wellbeing and mental health services, no matter where they live.

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan serves as a ‘blueprint’ for better designed and co-ordinated mental health and wellbeing services, supporting veterans to access the right help at the right time, delivered in a way that suits their individual needs.

The Action Plan has been co-produced by people who know and understand what it is to serve in the Armed Forces and their families, alongside people who know about health and mental health care and service design and implementation. Through the SVCN, they have joined forces to address the long standing need to ensure that our veterans can access consistently high quality services, regardless of their location.


The Action Plan’s thirty-eight Recommendations are based upon the following three key Principles:

    • Principle 1: Veterans will have equal access to mental health and wellbeing services, regardless of where they live, that are:
      • veteran specific and uphold the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant to ensure no veteran is disadvantaged by their military service.
      • focused on keeping veterans and their families well by providing support for the wider determinants of mental health and wellbeing.
      • as close to home as possible – this may require a blend of physical and virtual consultation or a range of digital therapies and treatments
      • high quality and provide evidence based psychological therapies
      • financially sustainable
    • Principle 2: Veterans should be able to access the right help at the right time
    • Principle 3: NHS Boards, Health and Social Care Partnerships, Local Authorities and the Third Sector should be appropriately supported to meet the needs of veterans and develop and deliver Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Support and Services.


The SVCN would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the Action Plan’s development, especially veterans and their families who have played a crucial role in informing the Plan. Members of the SVCN Health and Wellbeing working group provided advice and guidance throughout the Plan’s development. Members include:

Dr Linda Irvine Fitzpatrick –  Strategic Programme Manager, Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership and Chair of Health and Wellbeing Group
Dr Lucy Abraham –  Clinical Lead, Scottish Veterans Care Network
Major Lee Baines – Director of Whole Life Development, SO2 Transition, Ministry of Defence
Dr Jo Brown – Forensic Faculty Chair, The Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland
Dr Sandy Cavaghan – GP (Representing Royal College of General Practitioners)
Andrew Clark – Programme Manager, Scottish Veterans Care Network
Hannah Cornish – Senior Programme Manager, Scottish Veterans Care Network
Kirstin Davidson – Programme Support Officer, Scottish Veterans Care Network
Janet Davies Professional Lead, Psychological Services, NHS Ayrshire & Arran (Representing Heads of Psychology Services)
Susan Duncan – Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Angus Health and Social Care Partnership
Catriona Golden – Programme Support Officer, Scottish Veterans Care Network
Surgeon Commander James Harrison – Consultant Psychiatrist  and Clinical Lead (Scotland), Defence Community Mental Health Services, Ministry of Defence
Aileen Hill –  Strategic Pathways Manager, Walking with the Wounded (Representing Veterans Scotland)
Lauren Kennedy – Lead Nurse for Mental Health and Learning Disabilities, NHS 24
Gillian Lindsay –  Health Improvement Lead,  South Lanarkshire Health and Social Care Partnership
Maura Lynch – Senior Policy Manager, Mental Health Policy, Scottish Government
Jane Menzies – Head of Operations: Scotland, Combat Stress
Dr Jennifer Ring – Counselling Psychologist, Veterans First Point Lanarkshire (representing Veterans First Point)
Danielle Rowley – Influencing Manager, Samaritans Scotland
Claire Thirlwall – Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Dumfries & Galloway Health and Social Care Partnership


To access the Action Plan on the go, simply scan the QR code below: