UK — Extra provisions for troops suffering with mental health issues announced

Plans to pro­vide extra men­tal health nurs­es ded­i­cat­ed to car­ing for vet­er­ans expe­ri­enc­ing men­tal health dif­fi­cul­ties and a 24-hour helpline which will pro­vide coun­selling and sup­port to vet­er­ans have been announced today.

Defence Sec­re­tary Dr Liam Fox made the announce­ment of the new pro­vi­sions to help Ser­vice per­son­nel and for­mer mem­bers of the Armed Forces who are suf­fer­ing from men­tal health dis­or­ders fol­low­ing today’s pub­li­ca­tion of a report by Dr Andrew Mur­ri­son MP on men­tal health ser­vices for serv­ing per­son­nel and veterans. 

The report, ‘Fight­ing Fit — A men­tal health plan for ser­vice­men and vet­er­ans’, can be seen in full at Relat­ed Links. 

Dr Murrison’s report, which was com­mis­sioned by Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron, makes a wide-rang­ing num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions that the MOD and Depart­ment of Health will be look­ing to introduce. 

Of these, the four prin­ci­pal rec­om­men­da­tions are: 

• incor­po­ra­tion of a struc­tured men­tal health sys­tems enquiry into exist­ing med­ical exam­i­na­tions per­formed whilst serving; 

• an uplift in the num­ber of men­tal health pro­fes­sion­als con­duct­ing vet­er­ans out­reach work from Men­tal Health Trusts in part­ner­ship with a lead­ing men­tal health charity; 

• a Vet­er­ans Infor­ma­tion Ser­vice to be deployed 12 months after a per­son leaves the Armed Forces; 

• tri­al of an online ear­ly inter­ven­tion ser­vice for serv­ing per­son­nel and veterans. 

The MOD will dis­cuss these plans with the Depart­ment of Health, Dr Mur­ri­son, Com­bat Stress and oth­er inter­est­ed parties. 

Speak­ing at the Con­ser­v­a­tive Par­ty Con­fer­ence in Birm­ing­ham, Defence Sec­re­tary Dr Liam Fox said: 

“Due to the urgency of the issue, I’m pleased to announce that we will put into place two key rec­om­men­da­tions imme­di­ate­ly — a ded­i­cat­ed 24-hour sup­port line for vet­er­ans, and intro­duc­ing 30 ded­i­cat­ed men­tal health nurs­es in Men­tal Health Trusts to ensure the right sup­port is organ­ised specif­i­cal­ly for veterans.” 

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK 

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