Johnny Mercer giving keynote address 120919 CREDIT ALAMY
Johnny Mercer giving keynote address (Picture: Alamy).
Veterans

'Use Op Courage, it works': Johnny Mercer's message to struggling veterans

The former veterans minister urged those facing mental health issues to use the programmes in place to support ex-military personnel.

Johnny Mercer giving keynote address 120919 CREDIT ALAMY
Johnny Mercer giving keynote address (Picture: Alamy).

The former veterans minister has told ex-personnel who are "finding it tough" they can get better – but must use the programmes put in place to support them.

In a post on Twitter, Johnny Mercer MP said he had recently spoken to a friend and veteran who was "going through a tough phase".

He described his time as a minister as "an unmitigated disaster" as he "just couldn't do what I wanted to do", but he highlighted Op Courage as one project introduced in his time that could help veterans.

Op Courage, launched earlier this year, is a mental health service that provides specialist care to former Armed Forces personnel suffering a mental health crisis.

"I thought 'I'm going to try it, I'm going to try Op Courage, I'm going to refer my mate through it' and I tried in their region," he said.

"There was somebody there, they picked up the phone, they really cared, they stayed by the phone for my friend to call them.

"It just made me think I will continue to beast Boris Johnson and everybody else until we get to a place where this country does her duty by her veterans."

However, Mr Mercer said the "other side" of continuing to apply pressure on the Government to increase support for veterans was that former military personnel "have to use the systems... put in place".

"There is always a route back, whatever's happened, there is always a route back," he said. "You can get better.

"Use Op Courage, it works. Hundreds of people are working across this country at the moment who genuinely care about your mental health and on looking after you as a veteran."

If you or someone you know needs support at this time, you can find more information by visiting the British Army website and the Government's website.

Further details about support available can be found on our website.