Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Defence, has said that the Government will be funding a project to tackle mental health issues in the armed forces. Over £220 million of funding will be made available to launch a helpline and additional mental health support services.
Williamson said in a statement:
“Every hour of every day our safety, security and way of life are protected by our courageous Armed Forces personnel. They are always there for us – often risking life and limb and making huge personal sacrifices – and we must be there for them in their own time of need.
Mental illnesses caused by life on the battlefield can have a devastating impact on our brave heroes and their families. It is our moral and professional duty to ensure that we do all we can for our world class troops. That’s why we have commissioned the new 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline and will spend an extra £2-million a year on mental health services for the next decade on top of the £20-million we already spend each year.
I will personally be working with all the service chiefs to make sure there isn’t a single person in the forces who doesn’t know where to turn in times of trouble. 0800 323 4444 will be targeted at serving personnel and their families – allowing them to access the help, advice and support they need anywhere, anytime”.