The thrust of the Defence Select Committee hearing on Armed Forces and veterans' mental health on 12 January seemed to be that if Armed Forces personnel and veterans develop psychological injuries having been put in ‘harm’s way’ by the politicians that send them, then it is for the Armed Forces health providers (under the Defence and National Rehab Centre) to offer and coordinate help, not to leave it to an overstretched NHS and underfunded and complex weave of state and charity provision. This is particularly the case when charity incomes are dwindling (hence services threatened) and the NHS is leading the fight against the effects of COVID, and strengthened by research that indicates veterans seek to be treated within a system that understands them, their injuries, and the circumstances that cause them. Thoughts?
I recently came across the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s ‘strategic overview of transition from the Armed Forces’. Published in late 2020, it post-dates the UK Government’s ‘Strategy for Our Veterans’ by over two years. Not surprisingly then, it offers a more nuanced insight into many of the challenges faced by veterans undergoing transition from a career in the Armed Forces.