Portsmouth MP says armed forces personnel being 'let down' by government on mental health

ARMED forces personnel are being left to suffer in silence when it comes to mental health, an MP has suggested.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 7:08 pm

Government figures show that the number of service personnel being seen by the Ministry of Defence’s Specialist Mental Health Services for an initial assessment has fallen by 36 per cent since 2013, and is now the lowest it has ever been.

Labour MP for Portsmouth South and shadow armed forces minister, Stephen Morgan has called for action to be taken in the upcoming Armed Forces Bill, which is returning to the House of Commons next week.

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Armed forces personnel aren't getting the help they need, says city MP. Picture: Shutterstock

He said: 'It cannot be right that just after the passing of Armed Forces Day, service personnel are still being failed by this government in providing effective mental health services.

‘Service personnel are now more willing to seek help to support their mental health, but the government is once again letting them down. Labour’s commitment to support our armed forces is an enduring year-round promise, not just when it is politically convenient.

‘This government is big on rhetoric, but short on delivery.’

Mr Morgan will be leading the official opposition response to the bill.

In its Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, the government laid out an aim for forces personnel to have ‘timely access to safe, effective and innovative mental healthcare services’.

Around one in 50 service personnel are seen by MoD’s mental health service. The Labour Party wants to force the government to review all current mental health provisions for forces personnel, Mr Morgan added.

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