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News that veterans across Scotland will continue to have access to a range of welfare and psychological support with more funding for mental health services has been welcomed in Lochaber.
The Scottish Government is providing Veterans First Point Scotland with more than £658,000 to continue to deliver its services in 2021-22.
The charity has a network of six regional centres across Scotland and provides essential support to veterans through peer-support delivered in person and online.
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey said Veterans First Point Scotland has done an excellent job during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, adapting service delivery to continue to support veterans remotely and face-to-face.
‘Not only does the charity provide an essential support service, it also actively aims to reduce the stigma associated with seeking help by encouraging veterans to socialise in their community and engage with their local centre,’ she added.
‘That’s why I am pleased we are supporting Veterans First Point again in 2021-22 to help it continue its vital work with veterans across Scotland.’
Giving his own personal response to the announcement, Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Lane MBE, president of Fort William and District Branch of Royal British Legion Scotland, told the Lochaber Times the branch has three personnel trained as NHS Mental Health First Aiders.
‘But even so, we can only scratch at the surface of what is a huge problem. It is therefore reassuring to see the Scottish Government is providing Veterans First Point Scotland with the funding to allow it to continue its vital work supporting the veterans community,’ he added.
‘For too long, the plight of those who have proudly served their country, but now carry the mental scars of having done so, have been neglected. Some have simply fallen down the cracks of isolation but many, because they are proud men and women, are reluctant to ask for help.
‘I therefore applaud this initiative and hope it will be the crutch that is better able to assist more veterans of Lochaber.’
Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Lane MBE, president of the Fort William and District branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, laying a wreath in 2018, has welcomed news of more funding for veterans’ mental health services.
NO F46 REMEMBRANCE KEVIN LANE