Gavin Williamson launches 24-hour helpline for PTSD veterans
The Ministry of Defence is set to launch a specialist helpline for soldiers suffering from mental health issues after a campaign by a national newspaper.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will launch Helpline For Heroes from midday today, as the Government tries to provide better support for veterans struggling with PTSD.
The campaign for a specialist helpline was established by the Mail on Sunday after a soldier who served alongside Prince Harry committed suicide on New Year’s Day.
Royal Engineer Nathan Hunt had won bravery awards for identifying Taliban roadside bombs.
Last night his mother Maria Hunt, 64, said of the new helpline: “It is fantastic news, I’m thrilled to bits. I am so glad that something good has come out of Nathan’s death.”
And his widow Lainey, 41, said: “This is brilliant news. Soldiers need someone to talk to. A lot of lads are put off talking to doctors and counsellors face-to-face, so the helpline will be very useful.”
The free helpline, which can be reached on 0800 323 4444, has been funded by the Ministry of Defence and will run by the charity Combat Stress.
Last night, Mr Williamson commended the campaign for shining a light on “a hidden issue”.
“It is our duty to ensure we do all we can for our world-class personnel. I will be working personally with the service chiefs to make sure there isn’t a single person in the Armed Forces who doesn’t know where to turn in times of trouble,” he added.
PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe