Monday, May 11, 2009

More funds for Combat Stress

A good news story for a charity that really deserves some highlighting. Combat Stress attempts to help veterans with Mental health issues as the BBC says

A charity that helps support war veterans with mental health problems has been given £2.8m of Scottish Government funding. Combat Stress will use the money to improve access to a treatment centre, Hollybush House in Ayr.

Combat Stress is the leading charity specialising in the care of British Veterans who have been profoundly traumatised by harrowing experiences during their Service career and who are suffering from poor mental health as a result. Many Veterans leave the Armed Forces with highly debilitating conditions such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety disorders. Their problems can remain masked for years, and they and their families may be struggling to deal with matters at home.

Combat Stress dealt with over 1200 cases last year of which 300 were from veterans of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The question though that remains is why are they relying on charities to help them with their problems and issues. In this time when we are requiring more and more from our Service Personnel we should be ensuring they have proper access and treatment in Government funded programmes rather than relying on Charities and the general public.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | More funds for veterans charity


subrosa said...

This problem has arisen since the military hospitals were closed. Netley at Southampton used to be the main treatment centre for such illnesses but it closed and the facility was moved to the new Woolwich hospital in the early 80s. Most of the staff from Netley were made redundant because the unit at Woolwich was so much smaller.

Netley was a wonderful place. Built in Victoria's time it was situated right on the beach outside Southampton. A place of true peace and quiet for healing. It would have been far too expensive to modernise so that's the reason it was closed.

Until then the Army had their own mental health staff but bit by bit they retired and were never replaced. Superbly qualified and caring staff left and took their skills with them. Now they use civvie staff who have no understanding of a soldier's life and being treated by someone without a basic knowledge is of little or no help to the sufferer.

I entirely agree with you it's shameful that mental health for our troops has to be a charity. Does it work together with Help for Heroes? I'm kind of out of touch with these new charities.

Next time I've over in the west I'll try to have a wee look at Hollybush house. Have you seen it?

Fitaloon said...

Subrosa, Combat stress does get money from Help for Heroes and also some MOD funding, but not enough as it has increasing costs as you would expect. It is now the only place where veterans can get live in care alongside other veterans as all military mental health "care" is now farmed out to the Priory Clinics.
Cost of this and number of patients is shown here in a written answer in Parliament.
I have not seen any of the facilities apart from the old Hospital at Haslar which was very impressive looking. Apparently 20,000 service personnel are buried in its grounds.