Veterans NHS Wales gets £100,000 funding boost

There'll be more support and investment for veterans in Wales living with mental health problems. Former soldiers have campaigned and called on the Welsh Government to offer better services for those who've fought in conflict.

More: Wales marks Armed Forces Week

The rebranded Veterans NHS Wales will now aim to raise awareness of the specialist needs of those who've served in the military, with £100,000 of additional funding announced today by the Welsh Government.

Mike Griffiths has been to meet one man who feared for his life if he didn't get the right support.

The Health Minister says the funding will help people be treated quicker

Life after leaving the army wasn't easy for Allan Morgan.

He drank heavily and had a violent temper, made worse, he says, by his experiences serving in Northern Ireland.

I realised that my family were suffering with verbal abuse, which is was.

Very very quick tempered, destroyed plates, tables.

When I upset my grandson I knew that I had to get help.

– Allan Morgan

Allan referred himself to the All-Wales Veterans Health and Wellbeing Service (now Veterans NHS Wales), which led to him seeing a trained veterans therapist at an NHS clinic in Swansea

Nine months on, he says it's transformed his life.

The message I got is boys, don't be afraid. Get out there, sort it out, put the pride back into yourself.

Not, hide everything. It's there, they can get it out of you and they can help you.

Allan in conversation with therapist Victoria Williams

People that come and see me, they can be having difficulties in their relationships, they can be having difficulties getting a job.

It might be that they are struggling to function in society. What we're doing is we're helping them to process the thing that've happened to them and we're helping them to function more effectively".

– Victoria Williams, therapist

Click here to find out more about the service

Allan says his life has transformed since he sought help

Currently veterans who contact the service can wait anything from a matter of weeks to several months before beginning treatment, depending on where they live in Wales.

Far more people are using it than were using it in the past, and that of course does put pressure into the system.

The money I've announced today will be to allow the service to go on treating more people in the future, to do it quicker than they're able to do it at the moment, and to reach out to some of those people who we know would benefit from the service, but don't actually put themselves for it at the moment.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister