Prince Harry visited Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, Tedworth House, this week to learn more about the range of support available within the field of military mental health.
Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds service provides free and confidential support to Ex-Service Personnel, their families and the families of those still serving, who are living with anxiety, depression, stress, anger or early stage alcohol issues. The service has helped 1,000 beneficiaries to access support since it began.
The visit began with an overview of one element of Help for Heroes’ Psychological Wellbeing offering: the Hidden Wounds service at Tedworth House Recovery Centre. Hidden Wounds is a psychological support service helping Veterans and family members. The service allows people to make contact by phone, Skype or online, to speak to an experienced Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP), and after an initial assessment, they are given the support which will ultimately enable them to self-manage their issues.
This boosts their resilience and confidence that they will be able to lead fulfilling lives after leaving the military. Prince Harry spoke to a PWP to learn what happens when someone gets in touch, and what a difference having this conversation can make.
Help for Heroes is a member of Contact, a Charity Partner of Heads Together. Contact is a collaboration of military charities, the NHS, the MoD and top academics working together to make the most effective mental health support easily accessible to the Armed Forces community.
The Prince had the opportunity to learn more about the wider programmes available within Tedworth House, designed to promote wellbeing. First, he met some of those involved in a programme to build an Iron Age Round House in the grounds of the Help for Heroes Recovery Centre, giving time for reflection, team work and space to be outdoors before visiting the garden, where again beneficiaries can come and work outdoors giving space for quiet reflection, understanding the value of nutrition in wellbeing, and the opportunity to be creative.
Commitment levels for participation in both programmes range from a few hours to working towards City and Guilds qualifications. Here, he had the opportunity to speak to beneficiaries about how their involvement with the programme has helped them deal with tough times they have faced.
At the end of the visit Prince Harry sat down for a chat with some Help for Heroes beneficiaries, and the people who have supported them through tough times they have faced, to hear how having an open conversation and reaching out for support has made such a difference.