Budget – Rishi Sunak’s £10 million mental health boost for veterans

Rishi Sunak has pledged an extra £10 million for veterans with mental health needs.

The Chancellor called it “a crucial part of repaying the huge debt we all owe them”.

It follows concerns about high levels of stress, anxiety and addiction among former troops and other military personnel who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other combat zones.

The cash will go to the trust set up by the Ministry of Defence specifically to look after the needs of former service personnel.

Commenting on the news, Hilary Meredith, Chair of Hilary Meredith Solicitors and Visiting Professor of Law and Veterans’ Affairs at the University of Chester, said:

“At long last, it is now recognised that there is a need for diagnosis and treatment of PTSD as a result of service.

“PTSD is not as common as believed but often a medical diagnosis of PTSD is missed for a number of reasons – fear of the impact it may have on a military career, the military mentality of ‘soldier on’ and lack of awareness.

“In many cases, PTSD does not rear its head until 10 to 15 years after service when an event can cause a trigger to mental health issues.

“The legacy of Afghanistan and Iraq left many surviving double and triple amputees and whilst the physical rehabilitation in the area of amputation and prosthetics has dramatically improved over recent years, mental health has lagged behind.

“Many who left the military as amputees have gone on to achieve so much in high profile events such as Paralympics and Invictus Games. However, as veterans age and become less active, mental health issues can set in.”