United Kingdom

Retiring soldiers should face psychological exams to help them avoid prison, says former army chief

That percentage was confirmed by the MoJ in a Parliamentary answer this summer, and would equate to nearly 10,000 veterans either in prison, or among the 260,000-strong probation population, charities say.

The Royal British Legion points out there has been less research on this in the UK than in the US, and warns many detainees do not admit to a service background either for fear of prison beatings or a sense of embarrassment at having let down the regiment. Other research has placed the estimate as high as nine per cent.

The Mental Health Foundation has said 25,000 veterans are receiving treatment for mental health conditions, and estimates that only half of those suffering are receiving treatment, suggesting as many as 50,000 veterans have mental health issues.

And based on figures from the Government, homeless charities, and veterans organisations, Plaid Cymru - which is calling on the government to provide more joined-up care for veterans - estimates that there are some 6,000 homeless veterans across England and Wales.

Under the the MoD’s Career Transition Partnership, service personnel are provided with help and consultation on housing, employment and training.

A higher level of assistance is provided to longer-serving or wounded personnel but the CTP does not include a mental health assessment.

The MoD has been approached for comment.

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