Veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress hosts business symposium

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Hosted by Combat Stress, the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans, this year’s Military Mind business symposium, sponsored by Thales focused on the mental health treatment and support available to veterans in employment.

The event, held on 9 May to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, was attended by 65 organisations interested in learning about the support they can offer veterans and the benefits employing them can bring.

The majority of service personnel make a successful transition to civilian life after leaving the Armed Forces. However, a small but significant minority can struggle due to mental health conditions including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression and anxiety. With the right support they can lead fulfilling lives and bring great value to the workplace.

Experts in the field of military mental health, as well as those in the corporate sector who employ veterans, joined clinical specialists from Combat Stress to discuss the opportunities and challenges for businesses with employees who have served in the Armed Forces. 

Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said: “We would like to thank everyone who attended this year’s Military Mind business symposium, it was great to see so many different organisations at the event.

“There is a growing appreciation of the value veterans offer employers.  A small but significant minority may require additional support due to their mental health problems, however it can be difficult for employers to know what help is available and how to access it.  What we aim to do through events like this is to highlight the effective treatment out there.

“We hope that the organisations who attended this symposium feel better equipped to support their ex-service employees.”

Mike Seabrook, Company Secretary of Thales in the UK, said: “The Military Mind Symposium provided a great opportunity to reflect on the fact that meaningful work is good for mental health but also how much more needs be done for armed forces leavers themselves and in encouraging employers to consider hiring them. 

“I particularly enjoyed the input and conversation about how we can collectively support veterans and reservists in the workplace.  The event left me inspired by the speakers and everyone that participated.   

“At Thales, our veterans and reservists are a great asset and we go to great lengths to support all individuals with mental health issues.  We are proud to continue to sponsor Combat Stress and this important event.”