MILITARY VETERANS WHO suffer from Mental Health conditions deserve access to the specialist support they need that often deals with the unique conditions caused by Combat Stress.
That is the view being expressed by Richard Lochhead MSP after he met with employees of the veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress and learned more about their work.
‘Combat Stress’ support veterans living in Scotland and offer them support in rebuilding their lives, providing free specialist clinical treatment to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health problems.
The charity treats conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. They provide a range of free services including short-stay clinical treatment, a specialist PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme, Occupational Therapy, Community support and a free 24-hour Helpline.
Mr Lochhead said: “Our veterans are an asset to Moray and the work Combat Stress does to support veterans locally and across the country is invaluable.
“It is vital that all veterans have access to the specialist support that they need for conditions such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. I encourage all those who need support to contact organisations such as Combat Stress at the earliest opportunity.
”We all owe a significant debt to those who have served in our armed forces, and we must work together to ensure that they have access to the support they need and deserve.”
Andy Smith, Combat Stress’s Regional Operations Manager, added: “With recent research showing that Scottish veterans face a greater risk of deprivation than the general public, and that the average veteran takes 12 years to seek our support after leaving the military, it is vital that we encourage all ex-service personnel to access the support they need.
“We strongly encourage serving personnel, veterans and their loved ones to call our 24-hour Helpline 0800 138 1619.
“The Scottish Government’s support for veterans, including the Scottish Veterans Fund, is welcome, but the 71% increase in referrals that we experienced over the past five years illustrates the rising demand for our work. We hope that Government, support agencies and charities can work together to minimise the challenges faced by veterans who are already dealing with a range of complex issues.”