John pledges support for Scottish Veterans

11 Apr 2017

Veterans Support

Local MSP, John Mason, has pledged his support for Scottish veterans with mental health conditions at the Scottish Parliament today.

John met with employees from veterans’ mental health charity Combat Stress to hear more about their work to support veterans living in Scotland rebuild their lives.

Combat Stress is the UK’s leading mental health charity for veterans and provides free specialist clinical treatment to ex-servicemen and women across the UK with mental health problems. The charity treats conditions including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression and anxiety. They provide a range of free services including short-stay clinical treatment, a specialist PTSD Intensive Treatment Programme, Occupational Therapy, Community support and a free 24-hour Helpline (0800 138 1619).

John said:

Our veterans are an asset to Scotland and the work Combat Stress does to support veterans in Glasgow Shettleston and across the country is invaluable.

“It is vital that all veterans have access to the  specialist support that they need for  conditions such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. I encourage all those who need support to contact organisations such as Combat Stress at the earliest opportunity.

”We all owe a significant debt to those who have served in our armed forces, and we must work together to ensure that they have access to the support they need and deserve.”

Andy Smith, Combat Stress’s Regional Operations Manager, said:

With recent research showing that Scottish veterans face a greater risk of deprivation than the general public, and that the average veteran takes 12 years to seek our support after leaving the military, it is vital that we encourage all ex-service personnel to access the support they need.

“We strongly encourage serving personnel, veterans and their loved ones to call our 24-hour Helpline 0800 138 1619.

“The Scottish Government’s support for veterans, including the Scottish Veterans Fund, is welcome, but the 71% increase in referrals that we experienced over the past five years illustrates the rising demand for our work. 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.”

Homelessness in Glasgow

10 Apr 2017

Clyde FC

07 Apr 2017

Motion S5M-05042: Glasgow Winter Night Shelter

04 Apr 2017

That the Parliament welcomes the news that the Glasgow Winter Night Shelter, which operated from December 2016 to March 2017, provided accommodation for over 500 different people; understands that the length of stay was reduced in many cases compared with previous years because of a more “joined-up” approach by public and third sector agencies, which included council homelessness caseworkers being on the premises to process cases much faster, leading to more people ending up in housing more quickly; further understands that the shelter links in with the nearby NHS Hunter Street, which specialises in care for homeless people; acknowledges that it was run by Glasgow City Mission in partnership with other organisations, including the Simon Community, Turning Point Scotland, the Govan Law Centre, Marie Trust, the Lodging House Mission, the Glasgow Homeless Network and Blue Triangle; believes fundamentally that night shelters should not be a permanent part of Scotland, but considers that while there is a need for their existence, the Glasgow model shows many strengths that could be adopted in different areas to improve prospects for homeless people.