Following its report on part one of its inquiry into Mental Health and the Armed Forces into the scale of mental health issues, the House of Commons Defence Committee has launched part two of the inquiry, which will be examining the provision of care…

The Committee will address the following questions:

  • To what extent do serving and former armed forces personnel require specific mental health care for treatment to be most effective, either as a whole or for specific groups?
  • How far does Government provision for mental health services to serving and former armed forces personnel in the UK meet both these specific care requirements and the Armed Forces Covenant’s principle of priority care, including during transition?
  • To what extent are Armed Forces charities covering any gaps in Government mental health care provision?
  • Are veterans and their families aware of the mental health services available and how effective has initiatives such as the Veterans Gateway and 24hr helplines been in helping awareness and access?
  • Are GPs and other NHS medical practitioners sufficiently aware of the needs and entitlements of veterans and their families to provide appropriate advice and referrals?
  • Do veterans receive the mental health care and support they need quickly once they seek help?
  • How does the provision of care and the outcomes achieved for veterans differ across the UK?
  • How are the families of serving personnel and veterans with mental health issues supported?
  • To what extent are government departments, local authorities and charities across the UK aligned and working together effectively to provide mental health services to veterans?

Written submissions for this inquiry should be submitted via the inquiry page on the Defence Committee website. Those making submissions to the Committee are welcome to address any or all of the above points. The deadline for written submissions is Friday 31 August 2018.

Submissions by individual Armed Forces members and their families

The Committee is particularly keen to hear from both current and former servicemen and women and their families on their experiences, both good and bad, of seeking and receiving mental health care. However, please bear in mind that the Committee will not consider individual cases or matters currently before a court of law.

The Committee recognises that such submissions are likely to contain sensitive personal information and in order to ensure anonymity, the Committee will not publish submissions relating to individual experiences. Instead, the Committee will publish with the main report a detailed review of all such submissions received, which will draw out the key themes and present anonymised quotes as examples of what the Committee has seen. The Committee may also select anonymised examples to use in the report.

For all submissions

Submissions should state clearly who the submission is from e.g. ‘Written evidence submitted by <Name>’ and be no longer than 3,000 words. Introductory material on your background or that of your organisation should also be no longer than 200 words. Please contact the Committee staff if you wish to discuss this.

Submissions must be a self-contained memorandum in Word or Rich Text Format (not PDFs). Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference and the document should, if possible, include an executive summary.

Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

Please also bear in mind that the Committee will not consider individual cases or matters currently before a court of law, or matters in respect of which court proceedings are imminent. If you anticipate such issues arising, you should discuss with the Clerk of the Committee how this might affect your submission.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing. The Clerk of the House of Commons is the data controller for the purposes of the Act.

Further details of the inquiry can be found here.