Veterans First Point Conference Thursday 11 May 2017

Veterans First Point Scotland is delighted to announce that their second National Conference is to be held on Thursday, 11 May 2017 at Edinburgh Napier University. Registration will start at 08:30 at Craiglockhart Campus in Edinburgh, and is expected to finish around 16:30.

Over 40 different organisations from across the UK will be represented by more than 200 delegates. One of the key speakers at the conference will be Dr Greg Hinrichson from the Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, N.Y. He is the former U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Director of Community Mental Health, and Master Trainer for the VA training program in Interpersonal Psychotherapy for depression. Dr Hinrichson will be delivering two workshops for delegates and NHS Lothian staff.

Veterans First Point Lothian (V1PL) is an award winning mental health and well-being service developed in NHS Lothian in 2009. Veterans and clinicians wanted to create a service model to engage veterans and family members, with the ethos of accessibility, co-ordination and credibility.

In 2014 NHS Lothian was awarded £2.5 million pounds by the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund to develop three further services in Grampian, Highland and Tayside. However, interest from other health boards and partnership working has enabled an additional seven new services to be developed. This makes a total of eight V1P teams across Scotland (Lothian, Ayrshire & Arran, Borders, Fife, Grampian, Highland, Lanarkshire and Tayside) all networked together and supported by the V1P Scotland development team.

The teams aim to target the most vulnerable veterans and/or those who struggle to engage with mainstream services and encourage self-referrals or referrals from partnership agencies. Each team comprises Veteran Peer Support Workers, administrative staff and clinicians delivering evidence-based interventions, partnered with statutory services and third sector military and non-military charities.

Tracey Gillies, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: “I’m delighted that NHS Lothian has hosted the development of V1P Scotland, with eight centres across Scotland all providing holistic support to our veterans, their families and supporters.

“We welcome all 200 participants to the Conference, where we will be reflecting on the past and building a future for those seeking help and support.”