More must be done to ensure armed forces mental health says Portsmouth MP

Stephen Morgan uses Mental Health Awareness Week to raise profile of issue amongst armed forces

The mental health of defence personnel will continue to be put at risk unless Government urgently addresses the issue, MP for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan has warned.

To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Stephen has joined Help for Heroes in reiterating the points about military mental health which were made to the Defence Select Committee last month.

The vast majority of service personnel do not experience problems with their mental health either during or after service. However, it has been emphasised how important it is that those who do feel able to seek support when they need it.

Almost 500 men and women were medically discharged with mental health problems in 2016/17. This is an increase of 135% compared to 2010/11.

The first step to ensuring they receive appropriate support – in a timely fashion – is improving our understanding of the scale of the need, improving waiting times, and making sure those with the most complex mental health issues are getting the most appropriate level of care.

Stephen Morgan MP, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, said:

“It is vital our armed forces personnel get appropriate mental health care.

 I’ve no doubt people in Portsmouth expect their government to take care of the brave men and women who serve our country. I’ve already asked the Minister about what more his Government can do to ensure veterans seeking mental health support are seen within the 18 week NHS target.

But this problem isn’t going away, indeed, these figures show it’s getting worse.

I’ll keep up the fight, alongside Help for Heroes and other similar charities, to make sure the Government take this issue seriously and take action to get service personnel timely, appropriate treatment.”