The Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has pledged new funding to the Armed Forces and launched a new helpline to help with mental health for military personnel.
The new Military Mental Health Helpline is open 24/7 and can be called using the number 0800 323 4444. It was opened on Sunday 25 February and will be operated by the charity Combat Stress. It will run in conjunction with the charity’s veterans’ helpline.
Last year there were over 10,000 calls made to Combat Stress’s veterans’ helpline and in the past 10 years the Armed Forces have seen the number of personnel with mental health problems rise.
Moral and professional duty
Gavin Williamson has agreed to spend an extra £2 million a year for the next ten years on top of the £20 million a year currently committed to military mental health and further stated:
“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 323 444 will be targeted at service personnel and their families – allowing them to access the help, advice and support they need anywhere, anytime.”
Military Mental Health Helpline
For those looking for more information, the new helpline can be found on 0800 323 4444 and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.