16 February 2019

16th February 1922 - Ex servicemen in Asylums

Wikipedia says 'The Ministry of Pensions was created in 1916 to handle the payment of war pensions to former members of the Armed Forces and their dependants.'

On 16th February 1922 the matter of pensions to ex-service men with Mental Health problems was discussed in parliament.

The Minister of Pensions, Mr MacPherson said 'service patients' are received by special arrangement in asylums as private patients, and the average weekly cost of a 'service patient' is 36s. 9d.

He could not say by how much that differed from pauper patients but said money was there so 'he shall not feel that he is treated as a pauper patient but as a private patient.'

Asked about officers he said 'the average payment in respect of officers in asylums is 89s. 10d. a week.'

Elsewhere there was the notion of 'pensionitis.' A Dr Culpin considered this same matter in 1921 and concluded 'So far as a pension removes the need to work it will be harmful.'

That same year, 1922, The Southborough Report ( set up by the War Office Committee) concluded that regular units with high morale did not suffer shell-shock.

Thankyou to Hansard on 16th February for some information and Mental Health Timeline for the date.

Meanwhile, today. 16th Feb 2019 the BBC has a report 'Military charities say they are not coping with the increased demand for mental health support.... The Ministry of Defence spends £22 million pounds a year on mental health for veterans, while the NHS has dedicated around £6m annually since 2016.'

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