Troops' helpline launched11th March 2011
A new government-funded 24-hour phone helpline for armed forces personnel with mental health problems is set to be launched.
The facility, aimed at helping serving personnel, veterans and their families, will be run by mental health charity Rethink.
Veterans' group Combat Stress will also be involved and it will help to guide and train staff.
A one-year pilot costing £200,000 is being funded by the government, with text and e-mail help available later this year.
Health minister Simon Burns said: “This funding will provide veterans and their families with a service that will help and support them whenever and wherever they need it. This is also a great example of how the expertise of charities can be used to foster a stronger and healthier society.”
Defence minister Andrew Robathan said: “The mental health of our personnel and veterans is a top priority of the government and it is right that we do all we can to support them and their families.”
The two charities were selected to run the Nottingham-based helpline because of their work in supporting veterans and in mental health.
Rethink said it was delighted that veterans and their families now had somewhere to turn for help.
Dr Walter Busuttil, director of medical services at Combat Stress, said the helpline aimed to reach out to more veterans with “wounded minds” and encourage them to seek help at an earlier stage. The charity currently supports 4,600 ex-military personnel.
The Combat Stress Support Helpline is on freephone 0800 138 1619.
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Title: Troops' helpline launched
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 17834
Date Added: 11th Mar 2011