Mental health boost for Britain’s troops

By staff

British troops suffering post-traumatic stress disorder are to be given greater help from mental health services, Liam Fox has announced.

The defence secretary used his speech to the Conservative party conference in Birmingham to outline plans for improving mental health screening and encouraging more voluntary support networks.

Dr Fox also announced a 24-hour helpline and made an extra 30 nurses who specialise in mental health available.

He unveiled the construction of 260 new housing units for service families, costing £47 million.

The steps take up proposals made by MP Andrew Murrison, following the commissioning of a report into troops’ mental health by David Cameron.

His interventions are thought to have saved the Ministry of Defence from a reduction of more than 10% as part of the comprehensive spending review, following clashes between chancellor George Osborne and Dr Fox.

“I didn’t come into politics wishing to see a reduction in our defence budget. Neither did the prime minister,” Dr Fox said.

“But while we can never predict where events will take us or the unavoidable bills we will have to pay as a consequence, we must confront the ghastly truth of Labour’s legacy…

“They behaved like out-of-control online shoppers who kept ordering more and more without once considering how they might pay for them when the goods arrived.”