Title: It's not just as simple as saying goodbye
Event Date: 12 October 2016
Speaker: Andy Gritt, Dorset HealthCare Armed Forces Health and Wellbeing Team
Venue: K103, Kimmeridge House, Talbot Campus
Andy’s talk will cover challenges facing the Armed Forces community from a welfare and health perspective and what we are doing locally to meet these challenges. It will focus on trauma support for serving personnel, and on how the transition to civilian life can be made less stressful. All too often, former service staff experience a range of emotional and mental health difficulties, which have an impact on their personal life and relationships.
Andy Gritt, Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust
Andy qualified as a mental health nurse in 1984, working in the NHS until the early 90’s. He joined the Armed Forces as a Military community psychiatric nurse, where he developed a keen interest in the effects of combat and humanitarian deployments on service personal who have been subjected to traumatic events. He has held a number of roles, including working on peacekeeping and humanitarian aid missions and providing health care and welfare support in remote parts of Afghanistan. Andy has often stated that his military experience has allowed him to develop a unique perspective and confidence in overcoming difficulties and challenges in adverse conditions in order to achieve successes.
Having joined Dorset Healthcare trust in 2007 (having attained the rank of Major), Andy moved on to work in the field of forensic mental health within prison settings and custody liaison services. Much of this work has focused on delivering training for prison staff and police officers for managing trauma and response to major incidents. Andy has maintained a strong interest in the effects of trauma on service personal and their families throughout his career to date.
Andy has developed a support service that takes a holistic approach to ensuring that the needs of the whole armed forces community are met, especially across garrisons in Dorset. He works closely with the welfare chain to support current service personnel and their families who have particular health and welfare needs in a smooth transition into civilian life. The work also brings him in contact with local and national charities, helping to provide even wider support. He is a strong advocate of the needs of the growing population of street-homeless veterans. He has developed good links with both charities and in particular our local armed forces memorial homes to fast track individuals off the street and into effective support. Andy is currently (interim) Trust Lead for the Armed Forces Community.
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