Scots veterans worse off than rest of UK

Veteran

Research shows Scottish military veterans are more likely to end up in areas of high deprivation 

31st January 2017 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Scots veterans are more likely to hit hard times than their other British compatriots new research has found.

Veterans mental health charity Combat Stress surveyed over 3,000 ex-service personnel and found half of registered Scottish veterans live in the most deprived three areas of the country.

The charity published the findings today (31 January) in a new research paper called Multiple deprivation in help-seeking UK veterans - the first study of its kind in the UK to explore experiences of deprivation in veterans with mental health issues.

The charity used the Multiple Deprivation Index - which measures different social and economic types of deprivations such as financial, health and education - to analyse its sample.

Alongside this, the report used the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, data collected by the Scottish Government in 2012.

Sue Freeth, chief executive at Combat Stress, said: "The findings from our new report highlight the significant challenges that Scottish veterans face.

"The 71% increase in referrals that we have experienced in the last five years illustrates the rising demand for Combat Stress' services.

"We welcome support for veterans and our work from the Scottish Government, including the Scottish Veterans Fund.

"We hope that Government, support agencies and charities can work together to minimise the challenges faced by veterans who are already dealing with a range of complex issues."

The charity treats veterans with conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety.

1st February 2017 by David Cruickshanks

As a Scottish veteran I'm not in the least surprised. Middle aged ex-service men are last in the queue when it comes to issues. Many unskilled personnel such as infantry are also discarded outright when it comes to jobs. Many others who have jobs are on Zero Hours contracts with no possibility of development. When you have served your country you deserve more in peacetime. it's that simple. The country as a whole is struggling financially as is the NHS and the anxiety caused by the inability to be a breadwinner for many ex servicemen in particular exacerbates what can feel like a downward spiral of despair . There is no real money being spent fundamentally improving things for veterans . It's mostly tinkering around the edges. The lack of a coherent veterans' strategy is obvious and there are just too many competing agencies with well paid executives using up valuable resources as well as rogue 'so called' charities that set up in shopping centres make the public wary of giving to legitimate organisations make this a very hostile landscape for veterans in Scotland. Of course we also have excellent organisations but are there just too many competing for limited resources. We are also supposed to have a non political Veterans' Champion but I haven't seen or heard a single word about him in the 2 years he has been allegedly in post. It seems like one more layer of expensive bureaucracy that seems to have no real effect at grass roots level.