To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps his Department is taking in cross-government policy to improve the mental wellbeing of veterans.
On 1 March 2022, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans and I jointly announced that we would be appointing Colonel James Phillips as the Veterans’ Commissioner for Wales, thereby ensuring that all parts of the UK have an independent voice representing the interests of veterans. In this role, Colonel Phillips will engage with veterans and their families, listen to their needs and aspirations and identify areas for positive change. The appointment of Colonel Phillips is an important step forward in supporting ex-service personnel in Wales – including with mental wellbeing - and an integral part of meeting our ambition of making the United Kingdom the best place in the world to be a veteran.
The provision of mental health services is devolved to the Welsh Government. The Office of Veterans Affairs are supporting veterans’ mental health in England through Op COURAGE. It has engaged extensively with the Welsh Government throughout the development of the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan. The Plan brings forward commitments in a variety of areas, including mental wellbeing.