A HOST of support is on offer for members of the armed forces who may be experiencing mental health issues this Christmas in Worcestershire.

For those who have served in our Armed Forces, or who are currently serving, the festive period can trigger changes to mental health and wellbeing that could be affected by their time in the military and the unique obligations that come with serving in our Armed Forces.

A number of national, bespoke Armed Forces organisations are on hand 24 hours a day throughout the Christmas and the New Year period for those may be struggling with their mental health, feeling lonely or isolated from loved ones.

The helplines are manned by people who have a good understanding of military life and a number will offer text or an online chat service if people do not want to talk directly

Cllr Rob Adams, Worcestershire’s Armed Forces Covenant Partnership Chairman said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all of our veterans across Worcestershire and their families a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

"While our local military charities and services take a short but well-earned break over the festivities any veteran, currently serving or family member living in Worcestershire who is feeling anxious should not hesitate to reach out for assistance, whatever the issue might be.”

Veterans Gateway can be called 24 hours a day on 0808 802 1212. The Royal British Legion is available 8am to 8pm, seven days a week on 0808 802 8080. Op Courage, the NHS veteran mental health line, can be called on 0300 323 0137. Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. Combat Stress can be called on 0800 138 1619, while the SSAFA Forcesline is available from 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.