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Cash boost for veterans' mental health services

15th March 2012

Health Minister Mike O’Brien has unveiled £2m of new funding to help improve access to mental health services for Armed Forces veterans.

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The cash will also help former soldiers obtain access to the best possible NHS services under part of the Department of Health’s ongoing commitment to provide high quality, tailored, health and social care to Armed Forces veterans and those preparing to make the transition from military to civilian life.

The £2 million will fund up to 15 Community Psychiatric Nurses (or Veterans Therapists) to work in Mental Health Trusts alongside specialist Combat Stress teams to forge better links between the two and enable more veterans to be treated closer to their homes and families.

It will also see Combat Stress join forces with The Mental Health Helplines Partnership; improve education and training for GPs to help them identify veterans suffering from mental health problems; and help veterans become more aware of the support available.

Mr O'Brien said: “The brave men and women who have given so much for their country deserve the very best health care. That is why we are already working closely with service charities and the Ministry of Defence to ensure that veterans' health needs are better met.

"The NHS’s high quality mental health services are the best place to ensure veterans get the treatment they need.”

Wing Commander David Hill, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, said that the announcement was “a very welcome further step” to ensuring that Veterans have improved access to a choice of appropriate services.

 

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