Veterans: Welfare Service

Defence – in the House of Commons on 2nd November 2020.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on providing an effective welfare service for veterans.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The MOD’s Veterans Welfare Service provides advice and information on areas such as health, statutory benefits and pensions to all ex-service personnel and their families. Other areas of veterans’ welfare, such as health and benefits, are the responsibility of the respective Departments, and my officials work closely with them to ensure a joined-up approach.

Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

What steps is the Minister taking to remove negative stigma around mental health issues for veterans?

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

I pay tribute to my hon. Friend for his tireless campaigning on these issues. It is true to say that we are light years away from where we were, but there is still more work to do. The vast majority of people and families of those who have taken their own lives have not spoken out and have not reached out for help, and that remains the biggest challenge in fighting the issue of veterans’ suicide. We have made great progress and I pay tribute to all those who have come with us on that journey, but it is clear that we have more to do and I am determined to lead that fight.