Veterans (Health and Wellbeing)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 20th April 2022.

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Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

We are establishing a veteran-led action plan implementation board, which will be led by Charles Winstanley. I am not sure whether that information was in the public domain. The first meeting of the board is scheduled for 19 May.

In the meantime, we continue to fund Combat Stress and Veterans First Point, which will allow existing services to continue over the next few years as a Scotland-wide implementation plan is developed. Support for the board is currently being reviewed by the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care.

In addition, we have commissioned See Me Scotland to run a veterans anti-stigma campaign this year. Veterans Scotland and other third sector partners will contribute to the work to ensure that the experience of veterans can help to shape and influence the campaign.

Given Sandesh Gulhane’s question, it would be useful if he were able to support the Scottish Government’s call for the United Kingdom Government to pay some money towards the establishment of the commissioner’s office. It has done so in Wales, so I do not know what the logic is for the Tory UK Government to say that it will not fund veterans’ activity or the commissioner in Scotland. If he is willing to say that he will support that, that would be most welcome.