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Mental Health Support

Volume 673: debated on Monday 16 March 2020

10. What steps his Department is taking with Cabinet colleagues to improve mental health support for armed forces personnel. (901534)

The Ministry of Defence and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs recognise that maintaining good mental health and providing treatment when required is fundamental to maintaining a fit, healthy and effective military force.

Mental health problems can place a great strain on family relationships. There are fantastic organisations across the country, such as the Keighley armed forces and veterans breakfast club, that provide service personnel, veterans and their families with the opportunity to meet and talk on a regular basis. What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that mental health support—particularly support to keep military families together—extends to service personnel families?

There is a range of help available, particularly for our service families. I am aware that a lot of the debate at the moment is about veterans, but our service families absolutely are on that level; indeed, the armed forces covenant talks about this nation’s debt to her armed forces and their families. The armed forces breakfast clubs are a fantastic idea. I went to the one in Plymouth a week ago, and I commend them for their work. There are lots of organisations out there in different parts of the country; the Office for Veterans’ Affairs brings them all together so veterans know where they and their families can turn at a time of need.