Health and Wellbeing Progress – Recommendation 7

Barriers to accessing services

The Scottish Government and NHS(S) should build on existing work aimed at reducing barriers to veterans accessing mental health services. This will include measures to address issues of stigma, seeking help, and improving awareness and understanding within the medical profession. This should be taken forward by the Joint Group and network, and included as part of the Mental Health Action Plan.

2019 SVC evaluation of status:

Not implemented

2019 update provided by the Scottish Government:

Last year the Scottish Government provided £825,000 to support the Veterans First Point services network and will provide a further £1.6 million over the next two years to 2020, a total of £2.4 million. Funding for specialist and community outreach mental health services by Combat Stress for veterans resident in Scotland continues at £1.424 million for this year.

2020 SVC evaluation of status:

Partially implemented

2020 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The Scottish Veterans Care Network will focus on mental health services for veterans over its first two years. In addition, messaging on priority treatment will increase awareness of veterans’ rights and promote access to services. This recommendation is closely linked to Recommendation 5, in terms of access to mental health services and gathering intelligence on stigma and barriers to accessing services, is included in the proforma detailed above in recommendation 5. Furthermore, there is a proposed working group within the SVCN directly linked to national frameworks and pathways.

2021 SVC evaluation of status:

Implemented, but work should continue

2021 update provided by the Scottish Government:

The Scottish Veterans Care Network is currently working on a Mental Health Action Plan. Extensive mapping and consultation has been undertaken to gain the views of veterans, their families, third sector providers, and the NHS. The comprehensive plan was submitted in draft on 10 September 2021, with a final version expected in December 2021. It will contain recommendations for the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.

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