Support for veterans for the emerging situation in Afghanistan

The news from Afghanistan will significantly impact many people in our armed forces and veterans community.

The Military Veterans’ Service for Lancashire are there to support you and any mental health difficulties you may be experiencing.

Strong emotional reactions are normal and there is no right or wrong way to feel about the emerging situation.

This on-going situation may bring on distress, memories and dreams, particularly if you were deployed to Afghanistan, served with colleagues who were deployed, or are a family member of someone who was deployed. For some people, this news may bring very intense feelings.

If you are located in the North West and need support, the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) is a community service for ex-serving personnel and those transitioning out of the armed forces (with a discharge date). This offers a single point of entry, assessment and brief intervention to veterans who are experiencing mental health difficulties. You can contact the service on 0300 323 0707 or

Helpful things to do

  1. Have a plan of things to do that you enjoy, bring you comfort or relaxation or occupy your mind
  2. Take time to reflect in your own way – everyone deals with things differently
  3. Ground yourself – use your sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell to ground yourself.
  4. Check in with others who may be struggling but make sure you still take care of yourself
  5. Think about how much time you spend watching the news or on social media, switch them off if it isn’t helping
  6. Spend time with people you care about
  7. Talk to someone you trust if you want to, but don’t feel you have to
  8. Get exercise and eat well
  9. Keeping in a routine can be helpful
  10. Take off any unnecessary pressures


24/7 mental health support is available from:

  • Text ‘Shout’ to 85258
  • Samaritans: 116 123
  • Combat Stress: 0800 138 1619

Crisis Information

  • Immediate risk of danger to life – dial 999
  • Struggling to keep yourself safe – Call NHS 111 or attend the nearest Mental Health Urgent Assessment Centre or local A&E

Useful websites