The Prince of Wales will launch a charity appeal trying to raise £10 million to support the rising demand from veterans’ needing mental health support.
Prince Charles will launch the Combat Stress At Ease appeal at a reception at St James’s Palace on Monday evening attended by veterans treated by the charity.
The At Ease appeal is aiming to raise the £10 million over three years to meet the increasing demand for the charity’s services, with new referrals almost doubling to 2,000 a year in the last decade.
Combat Stress, of which Charles is the patron, said the cash raised will allow it to continue to support veterans with services such as its PTSD intensive treatment programme, short-stay clinical treatment, and a free 24-hour helpline and text number.
It will also use the money to launch its PTSD intensive treatment programme in the community to provide more flexible access to treatment, introduce a new video therapy programme, and expand its peer support service.
The charity’s president General Sir Peter Wall said the campaign will transform the lives of service men and women who have paid a “high price” for their nation.
Sir Peter added: “Please help us take this urgent step forward in veteran mental health treatment.
“I hope you will join us in our mission to change the lives of those veterans – and their families – who so badly need our help and give your support to the At Ease appeal.
“With your support, together we can transform the lives of those who have paid a high price for serving their nation.”
Sue Freeth, Chief Executive of Combat Stress, spoke to ITV News about the support the charity receives from Prince Charles and the importance of the At Ease appeal.
The charity, which is in its centenary year, helps former servicemen and women deal with trauma-related mental health issues like anxiety, depression and PTSD.
Research by King’s College London found that the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder is nearly twice as high among veterans as the general public, the charity added.
It said that almost one in five veterans who served on the frontline in Iraq and Afghanistan are predicted to get PTSD.