Glasgow Councillor named Armed Forces champion vows to support veterans with PTSD

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The SNP councillor is expected to be approved as Glasgow’s Armed Forces champion at a committee meeting today.

A Glasgow councillor set to be named city’s armed forces champion has vowed to help soldiers struggling with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

SNP councillor Alex Wilson is expected to be approved as the armed forces and veterans champion at the city administration committee today (Thursday, 29 September) and says he wants to broaden the role so he can help as many veterans as possible.

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Mr Wilson also wants to ensure there is enough mental health support available for soldiers transitioning to civilian life and prevent more people from becoming homeless.

He said: “I want to broaden the role and get as many veterans groups together as possible to set up forum events so I can hear what the concerns are for veterans.

“I want to see what I can do for mental health, particularly for ex-soldiers of all ages who come out of the military who are not street ready and end up institutionalised. They need more mental support to help them overcome PTSD and or serious injuries as a result of their time in the army.

“I need to see what kind of help is out there first of all, then I want to bring people together, see if they can work together to improve the services that are available to give veterans an easier life and easier transition into normal civilian life.

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“A lot of time these people come out of the army and they end up homeless and I want to offer them as much guidance, mental health and financial support as well housing and benefit assistance as they can possibly get.”

SNP Councillor Alex Wilson said he will do his most to support veterans with PTSD following the appointmentSNP Councillor Alex Wilson said he will do his most to support veterans with PTSD following the appointment
SNP Councillor Alex Wilson said he will do his most to support veterans with PTSD following the appointment | Alex Wilson

In November 2011, Glasgow was the first local authority to sign the armed forces community covenant (AFCC) and pledged to provide local support to service personnel and their families across the country.

As part of this pledge they were asked to appoint an armed forces and veterans champion. The role has been held by former councillor Phil Greene and the late Baillie Malcolm Cunning who was the inaugural champion.

Councillor Wilson has explained what the role will mean for him as his father-in-law served in the Royal Navy, spending time on the Suez canal, the Middle East and training at Portsmouth Naval Base. Both councillor Wilson’s grandfathers also served during the second world war.

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He continued: “My father in law is a navy veteran and I have done quite a lot of local visits to the veterans support groups within the area and the surrounding area.

“I got in touch with Help for Heroes and did a bit of work with them before other charities heard about this and reached out to me as well.

“I visited them too and the upshot was that the veterans champion position was available and Help for Heroes agreed it was a good idea that I take on the position because I was so interested in everything they do.

“I spoke to Phil Greene and he agreed this was a good idea as well.”

Members of the city administration committee are expected to meet tomorrow and approve the nomination which will see councillor Wilson hold the position until 2027 at the earliest.

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