Mental health trust receives award for supporting the armed forces community

The Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services across the south east, received the Silver Award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

The scheme encourages employers to support defence personnel and inspire others to do the same. Bronze, silver and gold awards are awarded to employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The award follows Sussex Partnership becoming one of the first mental health trusts in the country to achieve 'Veteran Aware' status, which is granted by the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance (VCHA). It recognises organisations that pledge to ensure members of the armed forces community are never disadvantaged when receiving care.

The Trust is also a founder member of the Sussex Armed Forces Network, and established the Sussex Armed Forces Community, a network of staff, ex-service personnel, reservists and family members who offer peer-led support through drop ins, events and social activities. 

In addition, there are more than 70 'Armed Forces Champions' working across the Trust, ensuring that members of the armed forces community are being supported in the best way possible. The Trust is also a member of Step into Health, a programme which offers members of the armed forces community an access route into a new career with the NHS. 

Dr Nick Lake, Sussex Partnership’s Director of Clinical Strategy and Chair of the Sussex Armed Forces Network, said: "We are proud to be an armed forces friendly organisation, and achieving the Silver Award demonstrates how seriously we take our responsibilities towards service personnel.

"Whether they are veterans, reservists or cadets, members of the armed forces bring with them a wealth of transferrable skills and experience, and the aptitude to work in a fast-paced, dynamic environment like the NHS. We will continue to do everything we can to support service personnel to take the step into a new career with the NHS, and hope that receiving the Silver Award will encourage more people to come forward and consider a career with Sussex Partnership." 

The Trust hopes to achieve Gold status in 2021. 

You can view our current vacancies here.

You can find out more about about Step into Health here

Full details of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme can be found here.