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Veterans

Million Pound Appeal Launched For Veterans' Mental Health

The At Ease appeal aims to raise money over three years to help fund mental health services.

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(Picture: Crown Copyright).

Veterans' mental health charity Combat Stress is launching a £10 million appeal today, to meet the increasing demand from younger veterans for its services.

The Prince of Wales, who's Patron of Combat Stress, will launch the appeal tonight at a reception at St James's Palace on the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week. 

The At Ease appeal aims to raise the money over three years to help fund services such as the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) Intensive Treatment Programme, short stay clinical treatment and a free 24-hour helpline and text number.

The charity's president General Sir Peter Wall said the campaign will transform the lives of service men and women who have paid a "high price" for their nation.

"Please help us take this urgent step forward in veteran mental health treatment," he said.

It's as new referrals to Combat Stress have doubled to 2,000 a year- largely due to a significant number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans coming forward for help.

The charity, which is in its centenary year, helps former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD.

Research by King's College London found that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder is nearly twice as high among veterans as the general public, the charity added.

It said that almost one in five veterans who served on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan are predicted to get PTSD.