Veterans: Suicide

Cabinet Office written question – answered at on 21 March 2022.

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Photo of Stuart Anderson Stuart Anderson Conservative, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the Government’s plans to tackle suicide among veterans.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)

The Government is clear that any suicide is a tragedy and is fully committed to tackling suicide among veterans. In September 2021, we announced a new method for recording veteran suicide. We expect the first reports from this data to be available in 2023.

Concurrent to that work, the MOD, ONS and OVA are working collaboratively to publish a 10-year lookback on veteran deaths through suicide, alcohol misuse and drug abuse. Having a better understanding of the number of veterans taking their own lives will help inform future policy and interventions in support of veterans.

Our ambition is to ensure that no veteran’s request for help goes unanswered. The veterans' mental health and wellbeing service, Op COURAGE, was allocated £17.8million funding last year and an extra £2.7million over the next three years. Further, we are supporting veteran-friendly accreditation for GPs and veteran-aware training for social work teams.

Additional funding has been awarded to service charities involved in supporting the mental health of veterans, such as through the £5million Afghanistan Veterans Fund, as well as an additional £10 million to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

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