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30 March 2017

MSP Pledges Support for Scottish Veterans Suffering Mental Health Conditions

MSP Stewart Stevenson has pledged his support for Scottish veterans with mental health conditions at the Scottish Parliament today.

The Banffshire and Buchan Coast politician met with employees from veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress to hear more about their work to support veterans living in Scotland rebuild their lives.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans and provides free specialist clinical treatment to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health problems.

The charity treats conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.

Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“Our veterans are an asset to Scotland and the work Combat Stress does to support veterans in Banffshire and Buchan Coast and across the country is invaluable.

“It is vital that all veterans have access to the specialist support that they need for conditions such as PTSD, depression and anxiety.

“I encourage all those who need support to contact organisations such as Combat Stress at the earliest opportunity.

”We all owe a significant debt to those who have served in our armed forces, and we must work together to ensure that they have access to the support they need and deserve.”

Andy Smith, Combat Stress’s Regional Operations Manager, said:

“With recent research showing that Scottish veterans face a greater risk of deprivation than the general public, and that the average veteran takes 12 years to seek our support after leaving the military, it is vital that we encourage all ex-service personnel to access the support they need.

“We strongly encourage serving personnel, veterans and their loved ones to call our 24-hour Helpline 0800 138 1619.

“The Scottish Government’s support for veterans, including the Scottish Veterans Fund, is welcome, but the 71% increase in referrals that we experienced over the past five years illustrates the rising demand for our work.

“We hope that Government, support agencies and charities can work together to minimise the challenges faced by veterans who are already dealing with a range of complex issues.”
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