Veterans and armed forces personnel who need mental health care are being ‘failed by the system’ according to MPs.
In a report published last month, the Commons Defence Select Committee said that from an NHS budget of more than £150bn, less than £10m a year had been allocated to mental health services for veterans.
The report, Mental Health and the Armed Forces, Part Two: The Provision of Care, went on to say that the NHS should urgently consult the Ministry of Defence and the Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre to establish a world class centre for treating psychological injuries within 18 months.
It continued by saying: “There is no doubt that some serving personnel, veterans and their families who need mental healthcare are still being completely failed by the system. With specific mental healthcare provision for armed forces families also non-existent, it is no surprise that many veterans and their families believe they have been abandoned.”
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the British Medical Association council chair, said: “It can’t be right that men and women who have put their lives on the line to defend their country are having to wait a year for treatment when they are at their most vulnerable.”
What’s happening in Cornwall?
Surf Action is a charity in Cornwall that currently works with military veterans. Established in 2009, the award winning and pioneering project, is dedicated to serving the needs of military veterans (including TAs and reservists) and their families, especially those affected by PTSD and physical injuries or those struggling to re-adjust to civilian life. Find out more at www.surfaction.co.uk
Also working in Cornwall is Active Plus, a Community Interest Company who use the skills, experience and expertise of injured military veterans to deliver unique programmes that build confidence, motivation and self-belief, unlocking the potential of participants, all of whom are from vulnerable or potentially vulnerable groups. They are currently working on a range of projects that support injured military veterans, support young people to engage more effectively with school, help unemployed people back into work, support older people to build relationships and become active in their communities and deliver specialist training for business leaders and their workforce. You can find out about their projects here http://activeplus.org.uk/our-projects/