Extra £2.7 million to provide mental health support for veterans

31 August 2021, 06:07 | Updated: 31 August 2021, 06:09

The funding announcement comes after British forces fully pulled out of Afghanistan
The funding announcement comes after British forces fully pulled out of Afghanistan. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

An extra £2.7 million will be set aside to provide military veterans with additional mental health support, the government has announced.

The funding forms part of Operation Courage - a service created in aid of veterans' mental health and wellbeing.

It comes as the British military presence in Afghanistan ended after 20 years, with Defence Secretary Ben Wallace acknowledging that many of those who served there "experienced things they will never forget".

He said: "The campaign in Afghanistan was incredibly challenging but our personnel displayed the highest levels of bravery and professionalism whilst securing the rights and freedoms of millions.

Read more: Raab calls for international support to help at-risk Afghans escape Taliban

Watch: Head of armed forces 'gaslighting Afghan women' with Taliban comments

Read more: UN resolution adopted calling for safe passage out of Afghanistan

UK troops and diplomats arrive home after 20-year Afghanistan campaign

"Many of our people experienced things they will never forget, and we remain committed to supporting this veteran community through Op Courage.

"We are forever indebted to the heroics and sacrifice of our service personnel and veterans, and pledge to ensure they receive any support they need."

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "Our serving armed forces and veterans represent the very best of us, with recent events in Afghanistan yet another reminder of their dedication and sacrifice.

"Op Courage already provides excellent support for veterans' mental health, but I know there is more we can do to get the right care and treatment to those who have given up so much to protect us.

"This new funding will ensure support is in place where it is needed most, recognising the unique challenges veterans face."