Get Help Now!


The Veterans First service has been established as a Trust-wide service within North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust to support and treat ex servicemen and women within the Trust area and is located at The Lakes Mental Health Unit in Colchester.

The team can be contacted on the following telephone number weekdays between 9am and 5pm 01206 228759 (answerphone outside office hours) or email:

PLEASE NOTE Veterans First is NOT a crisis service.  For those seeking urgent help please see below

North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust

If you, or the person you are concerned about, are already being seen by our services and you feel emergency treatment is required, support is available from your local team at any time. To go to the Trust website follow this LINK

Contacting your own or local GP

To search for a GP in your area, or to find the contact details for your practice, please see the doctors' section on


Need someone to talk to?


NERIL (North Essex Resource and Information Line for mental health) is a voluntary telephone helpline staffed by trained workers who give information, support and advice about mental health. The line is open every day between 4pm and 8am.

The number for NERIL is 0845 0900 909 (all calls charged at a local rate). Anyone can use this service


The Samaritans

Call 116 123

To visit The Samaritans website click here.

The Samaritans offer a listening service to those going through a personal crisis and wanting to talk about their despair or suicidal feelings. There is someone to talk to 24 hours a day. Calls made to the national helpline are charged at local call rates from anywhere in the country.


NHS Direct

NHS Direct offers confidential information and advice about all health matters including mental health at any time, 24 hours a day.

To speak to an NHS Direct nurse call 0845 4647 (all calls charged at local rate)

To visit the NHS Direct website click here.


Veterans UK (formerly SPVA)

The helpline number is 0808 1914 2 18 or visit their website here


Combat Stress

To find out more about Combat Stress click here.