Veterans: Suicide

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 18th January 2021.

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Photo of John Healey John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent suicide among veterans.

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

In January 2019, the Government published the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the NHS. This includes actions being taken forward by MoD and NHS England for veterans and armed service personnel. The Government has committed to publishing an updated workplan and progress report against the National Strategy, expected in Spring 2021.

The majority of veterans successfully access mental health programmes available to the general population through the NHS, however for those veterans who need extra support, the NHS in England offers bespoke and specialist mental health services, which benefit from over £10m investment per year. Recent months have seen the rollout of the new NHS England High Intensity Service, which will provide further specialist care for veterans with acute mental health needs or who are in a mental health crisis. The Government has also provided £6 million in funding to support 100 service charities during the Covid-19 pandemic, including charities supporting veterans with their mental health.

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