Today's defence news features reports on the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline and Northern Ireland legacy.
24-hour Mental Health Helpline
The Mail on Sunday report on the 24/7 mental health helpline that was announced in February. It has had 538 calls since its creation.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
I am heartened to see that over 500 calls have been made to the helpline since it was set up. We are breaking down the barrier of stigma often associated with mental health and our message that our heroes always have somewhere or someone to turn to in times of trouble is getting through.
Our troops are always there for us – risking life and limb and making huge personal sacrifices – and we must be there for them in their time of need. That is why alongside this helpline we have invested an extra £2 million a year on mental health services for the next decade on top of the £20 million we spend each year.
Northern Ireland legacy
The Sunday Express interviewed Sir Mike Penning, former Minister for the Armed Forces, about his experience of being falsely accused during the Troubles and also report on veterans support for a statute of limitations.
A Government Spokesperson said:
It is only due to the courageous efforts of our security forces that we have the relative peace and stability that Northern Ireland enjoys today. We are now consulting on new legacy institutions to replace the current flawed processes and ensure that there is no unfair and disproportionate focus on former members of the Armed Forces and police officers. The welfare of our personnel and veterans is of the utmost importance and we provide legal and pastoral support to any veteran who requires it.