ESSEX’S mental health trust has pledged its support to armed forces personnel and their families.

The Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, which commits it to treating all members of the forces with fairness and respect.

EPUT already runs a service for veterans which helps ex-servicemen and women with their mental health, providing access to therapy for anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The covenant is also in recognition of EPUT’s work with the Career Transition Partnership to support former personnel service into employment, and Step into Health, which helps former members of armed forces find careers in the NHS.

Former soldier David Powell is now the regional lead for the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service. He said: “Serious trauma can have a devastating effect on the lives of servicemen and women and I am proud of the support the trust offers those who find themselves discharged during service or who experience mental health problems later in life.

“Signing the covenant is our way of showing our commitment to offering the best possible service to the armed forces community.”