Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson has launched a new 24/7 helpline to battle the ever-growing problem of mental health issues in our troops and veterans after a campaign by a daily newspaper.
The campaign, which was supported by Chantelle Taylor, a former Army medic who served in Afghanistan was raised after Warrant Officer Nathan Hunt of the Royal Engineers committed suicide on New Years Day.
Last night his mother Maria Hunt, 64, said of the new helpline: “It is fantastic news, I’m thrilled to bits. I am so glad that something good has come out of Nathan’s death.”
And his widow Lainey, 41, said: “This is brilliant news. Soldiers need someone to talk to. A lot of lads are put off talking to doctors and counsellors face-to-face, so the helpline will be very useful.”
The free helpline, which can be reached on 0800 323 4444, has been funded by the Ministry of Defence and will run by the charity Combat Stress.
Last night, Mr Williamson commended the campaign for shining a light on “a hidden issue”.
“It is our duty to ensure we do all we can for our world-class personnel. I will be working personally with the service chiefs to make sure there isn’t a single person in the Armed Forces who doesn’t know where to turn in times of trouble,” he added.