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Armed Forces: Discharges

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 96671, tabled on 25 November 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he is taking steps to help ensure that people are not medically discharged from the Armed Forces for mental health reasons without first receiving (a) a formal diagnosis, (b) information on treatment and support options and (c) referral to appropriate services where clinically recommended.

Answered on

5 December 2022

Medical Discharge from the Armed Forces requires a diagnosis and an assessment of the individual service person’s deployability.

Service personnel have a Structured Mental Health Assessment at their discharge medical examination, which identifies any previously undiagnosed mental health needs and enables signposting and referral where necessary.

Where personnel leaving the Armed Forces have an enduring need for mental healthcare, the Defence Medical Services works in partnership with the NHS to ensure continuation of care. MOD’s Departments of Community Mental Health (DCMH) are accessible for up to six months after discharge to complete therapeutic work in progress and to provide continuity of care during the transition period until appropriate handover to other services can be completed as required.

In England, the NHS Op COURAGE provides a complete mental healthcare pathway for service leavers, with similar services in other parts of the UK.