Andrew Smith's Story
Andrew Smith is a Community Psychiatric Nurse and is the Northern Ireland Team Lead at Combat Stress, the UK's leading Veterans' mental health charity.
As a veteran he has a vested interest in trying to improve the services available to veterans across the UK. His Fellowship in 2014 to Canada explored various models of community mental health care offered to veterans abroad, with a specific focus on the function of operational stress injury clinics which have a history of healthcare provision throughout the region.
Andrew’s findings will help Combat Stress to continue to develop and improve aspects of their own community services while creating collaborative partnerships with other healthcare providers, in the interest of sharing best practice and improving services in mental health care in the UK.
Since returning to the UK, Andrew has been successful in gaining funding for a peer support service for veterans, which will be based on one of the services he observed in Canada. What's more, professionals Andrew met during his Fellowship came over to the UK from Canada for two weeks to help train Combat Stress' staff to deliver the new service. Launching in May 2017, it will be the first service of its kind in the UK and will help support thousands of individuals and families across the country.
Read Andrew's report here