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Mental Health of Veterans

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Jamie Stone Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Armed Forces), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence) 11:00 am, 11th March 2020

The hon. Gentleman makes his point extremely well. The mention of Salisbury brings to my mind mixed memories as a private soldier in the Territorial Army, but we will gloss over that.

I believe that the Government must try to step up for veterans and bridge the funding gap, if they can. I do not have all the answers, but as a start we should ring-fence NHS funding for mental health support. As a Scottish MP, health is outside my remit, but, as my presentation Bill set out a few days ago, it is entirely possible for the Government to ring-fence NHS spending for veterans’ mental health support. As much as I think that ring-fencing NHS expenditure would be a good start, it is not, in all honesty, a catch-all answer. As many hon. Members know, mental health treatment can be complicated, and the circumstances surrounding veteran welfare can be challenging. We all need to bash heads together and see how we can collaborate more effectively to deliver a more holistic mental health strategy.