Veterans: Mental Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Julian Knight Julian Knight Conservative, Solihull

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to provide adequate mental health support for veterans; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

In England, veterans are able to make use of both mainstream and veteran specific mental health services.

NHS England’s Transition, Intervention and Liaison service supports serving personnel who need additional support as they are leaving the armed forces and veterans who have mental health issues. Numbers indicate that around 5,000 individuals are passing through this service each year. There are three elements to the service:

- in-reach services for those in transition, leading up to, and leaving the armed forces;

- services for veterans with complex presentation; and

- general services for veterans.

In 2018 NHS England launched their Complex Treatment Service, this has been designed to support veterans with complex mental health issues that have not improved with previous treatment. It provides a range of intensive care and treatment that may include but is not limited to support for drug and alcohol misuse, physical health, employment, housing, relationships and finances, as well as occupational and trauma focused therapies.

In December last year NHS England Long Term Plan announced a further £10 million to expand these services and seek ways to close the gaps in current mental health provision to capture those individuals that are nearing crisis.

Veterans are also able to use mainstream mental health service and are utilising these services with very positive outcomes, often better than the general population. Over 20,000 use Improving Access to Psychological Services each year and many more access other NHS mental health services.

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