Johnny Mercer during an interview 270220 CREDIT BFBS
Mental Health

World Mental Health Day: Veterans Minister Urges Veterans To Access Support

Johnny Mercer says he recognises more must be done to help veterans transition out of the services.

Johnny Mercer during an interview 270220 CREDIT BFBS

Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer has urged military veterans to access available support, as the UK marks World Mental Health Day.

A range of systems have been put in place by the Government and the NHS to help those who have served, although Mr Mercer admits the UK must “do more” to consider ex-service personnel in its policies.

The transition stage, from inside to outside of the forces, has been highlighted as a key period for veterans potentially in need of support.

In England, the Veterans’ Mental Health Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service was established to help tackle early signs of mental health difficulties, while 2019 saw the launch of the Defence Transition Service to provide bespoke support for those leaving the Army, Navy or RAF for civilian life.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “As we mark World Mental Health Day, my message to anyone struggling is please seek the support you deserve.

“From the moment you transition out of the Armed Forces, support for veterans from the NHS and the brilliant Armed Forces charities is out there. 

“But I recognise we need to do more and as Veterans Minister I will continue to ensure that veterans' issues are at the heart of Government policy.”

Veterans with complex mental health problems as a result of their service can access the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment service, while more than 700 ‘veteran-friendly’ GP surgeries have been specially equipped to care for former service personnel in England.

There are also more than 40 ‘Veteran Aware’ hospitals in England.

The Veterans Gateway, a military charity which is funded by the Government and run by the Royal British Legion, also provides a one-stop shop for veterans – including for mental health issues.

Cover image: Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer has urged military veterans to access support.