Date lodged: 2 March 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that veterans with mental health problems receive the support and care that they need.
Answered by: Maureen Watt 9 March 2017
NHS Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships together with local authorities and third sector partners are ideally placed to work together to provide a range of care, services and support that responds appropriately to the assessed health and mental health needs of veterans and their families.
The Scottish Government set out its commitment to Veterans in Renewing Our Commitments, which recognised veterans and their families as a true asset to Scotland and reaffirmed that no member of the Armed Forces, Service family member or veteran in Scotland should face disadvantage when accessing services and support. Amongst other achievements, Renewing Our Commitments highlighted the Scottish Government’s funding of over £3.6 million over three years to 2018 in partnership with NHSScotland for the provision of specialist mental health services for veterans resident in Scotland at the Hollybush House Combat Stress facility in Ayr.
The Scottish Government will also shortly publish a new ten-year national Mental Health Strategy to transform and improve mental health and wellbeing. The strategy will build on previous successes and will set out a longer term vision for Scotland where good mental health and wellbeing flourishes for all, including veterans. The strategy, underpinned by additional investment of £150 million over five years, will focus on the need for prevention and early intervention, joined up accessible services that respond appropriately, and tackling the early mortality rate of people experiencing mental ill health.