Speech: Defence Secretary Op-Ed for the Mail on Sunday on mental health

first_imgOur Armed Forces do a magnificent job. It’s my privilege to see the incredible work they do all around the globe – every hour of every day. In Iraq I’ve spoken to our impressive air men and women who have been hammering barbaric Daesh fighters in Iraq to destroy the death cult that has brought bloodshed to the streets of Britain. In Poland I’ve met inspirational soldiers– not simply supporting and leading NATO missions in Eastern Europe but underpinning our security at home. And in the North Atlantic and the Gulf I’ve listened to the sailors protecting our precious undersea communications cables and patrolling our vital trading routes. All the while, our dedicated submariners maintain our nuclear deterrent – our nation’s ultimate armour against the most extreme threats to our way of life.These people are the greatest of their generation. And they have the right to expect more than simply the best jets, warships and tanks to help them do their duty. It is also their right to expect the best possible support care on and off the battlefield. In the not too distant past that would have meant treating the physical scars of conflict. There wouldn’t have been much thought about helping heal the invisible wounds war leaves behind. But times have changed. We now understand the importance of a healthy mind as well as a healthy body. That’s why the Ministry of Defence is now spending around £20 million a year on mental health services to treat the trauma life on the front line can bring. But while things have vastly improved – they are not perfect. We should never be too afraid or too timid to tackle the stigma of mental illness and look at new ways to offer help. That’s why I want to commend the Mail on Sunday’s Helpline for Heroes campaign for shining the spotlight on this critically important issue. It’s simply unacceptable that serving personnel with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, suicidal or negative thoughts, should suffer in silence.So I have now agreed to spend an extra £20m over the next decade to improve mental health services in the Armed Forces – £2m more every year for vital services. That’s at least £220m over the next 10 years. Today we launch the Military Mental Health Helpline for serving personnel and their families while bolstering the care currently on offer. We are forming a deeper partnership with Combat Stress – the leading charity in the UK for supporting veterans with mental health problems. The charity already helps a small number of serving personnel through their 24-hour helpline, but we will be enhancing this service with additional funds and creating the entirely new Military Mental Health Helpline with its own memorable number –  0800 323 4444. This will be specifically targeted at serving personnel and their families – allowing them to access help anywhere, anytime. It will be staffed by professionals and will benefit from improved information sharing with the military, so those in need get the vital help they need. We have examined the choices closely and believe this will deliver the best service for our Armed Forces.The freephone number will take calls from midday today. And it will be backed up by a major internal marketing campaign.  The truth is we’ve not always been the best at talking about these issues in the military. So I will personally be working with the Service Chiefs to make sure there isn’t a single person in the forces who doesn’t know where to turn in times of trouble.But I don’t just want people to know who to call when they need to talk to someone. I want them to know what else is on offer.I want them to know about the 20 sites providing mental health care for the military in the UK and abroad – bringing together psychiatrists, mental health nurses, clinical psychologists and social workers to help manage the mental health needs of those in difficulty.I want them to know about the service provided by NHS England – the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Mental Health Service – which seeks to increase the access to, and treatment of, mental health services for those approaching discharge who may have mental health needs.I want them to know more about the Veterans Gateway – offering current and former personnel support on everything from financial assistance to property problems.I want them to know about our ground-breaking partnership with Prince Harry and the Royal Foundation – raising awareness about the importance of good mental fitness, drawing on the best research and putting a wealth of information online.And I want them to know we have a mental health strategy that can work for them. It’s about educating our chain of command and working with our people and their families. It’s about spotting the early warning signs of mental illness. It’s about encouraging those who need help to get it quickly. And it’s about prevention – building that vital awareness of good mental health fitness into training so that our troops are better equipped to deal with operational stress before, during and after combat as well as the stresses of day-to-day living that we all experience.Next month the King’s Centre for Military Health Research will be holding a conference uniting leading experts from across the UK and the world to discuss mental health challenges encountered by personnel from the day they join through to retirement. Their work is increasingly important.As the dangers our nation faces become ever more intense and ever more complex, whether from aggressive states such as Russia, terrorism or cyber warfare, it’s vital for us to keep our brave men and women at the top of their game both physically and mentally.But there’s always more we can do to help those who find themselves isolated or feeling low. So make no mistake, it is one of my top priorities as Defence Secretary to make sure everyone in the Armed Forces feels valued.At home, as well as across the world, our Service personnel remain Britain’s finest. And if the ever-evolving nature of conflict demands that we keep adapting our approach then, have no doubt, we are ready and willing to do so. No-one in our Armed Forces need suffer in silence. Our heroic men and women are the backbone of our nation. They lay their lives on the line for us every single day. They are the very best of British. And they deserve nothing less than the very best support.last_img read more

JRAD Debuts Ween Cover On St. Patrick’s Day [Audio/Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images Setlist: Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | State Theatre | Portland, ME | 3/17/18I: Jam > Playing In The Band, Althea, Greatest Story Ever Told, Eyes of the World, Brown Eyed WomenII: Dancing in the Street, New Minglewood Blues, Let It Grow, Loser, The ElevenE: The Blarney StoneCheck out the full gallery below, courtesy of photographer Vic Brazen.Joe Russo’s Almost Dead | State Theatre | Portland, ME | 3/17/18 | Photos: Vic Brazen Photo: Vic Brazencenter_img Joe Russo’s Almost Dead played to a packed house at the State Theatre in Portland, Maine on Saturday night in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. The two-part show was especially jam-heavy, with five song sets on either side. Of course, still packed to the brim with teases, the Saturday night show varied greatly from the Phish-infused setlist from Friday night in Albany.The venue was a little chilly when the show started, as Joe Russo and Tom Hamilton opened the show all bundled up in warm clothes. It wasn’t long before the place heated up, as the Grateful Dead-inspired quintet kicked the night off with a jam that appropriately teased “Cold Rain and Snow” and eventually landed on “Playing in the Band”. Next up was “Althea”, followed by “Greatest Story Ever Told” with a “Dark Star” tease, a “Dear Prudence” jam, and a Marco Benevento keys solo into “Eyes of the World.” The band closed the first set with “Brown Eyed Women”.The second set was unbelievable, starting with a jam that brewed into “Dancing In the Streets” with a Joe Cocker “Get By With A Little Help From My Friends” tease into “New Minglewood Blues”. Next was “Let it Grow” with a “Bathtub Gin” tease, then “Loser”, closing out the set with “The Eleven”.After a brief break, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead returned to the stage for the encore, using the opportunity to debut a cover of Ween‘s “The Blarney Stone”, featuring bassist Dave Dreiwitz (also a member of Ween) on vocals. Check out some pro-shot videos of the first and second set openers below, via nugs.tv, followed by the full show audio from taper NicksPicks.last_img read more

People moves: Cost disclosure body names 10-strong board [updated]

first_imgCTI, ATP, NN IP, PLSA, Natixis, LPFA, The Pension SuperFund, BNP Paribas AM, Artemis, De Nationale, Avebe, Barnett Waddingham, BlackRock, AllianzGI, OpenGammaCost Transparency Initiative – CTI, the body set up to monitor the UK’s new investment cost disclosure framework, has appointed 10 board members from asset owners, asset managers and trade associations.Representing pension funds are: Jason Fletcher, chief investment officer at LGPS Central; Jeff Houston, secretary to the LGPS Advisory Board; Robert Waugh, CIO at the Royal Bank of Scotland Pension Fund; and Joe Dabrowski from the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association.On the asset management side are: Adam Henley from JP Morgan Asset Management; Jane Ivinson, general counsel at Insight Investment; and Jonathan Lipkin, director of public policy at the Investment Association. Also joining the CTI board are: Jenny Condron, chair of the Association of Consulting Actuaries; Gurpreet Manku, director of policy at the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association; and Angela Roberts, a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel. The CTI is chaired by Mel Duffield, pensions strategy executive at the Universities Superannuation Scheme. It will also have a number of board observers from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Financial Conduct Authority, the Pensions Regulator, and the Trades Union Congress. Chris Sier, who led the creation of the disclosure frameworks as chair of the UK’s Institutional Disclosure Working Group, will act as a board adviser.ATP/Danske Shoppingcentre —Michael Nielsen has been appointed chief financial officer of Danske Shoppingcentre (DSC), the joint venture set up between Danish pension giants ATP and Danica at the end of 2017. Having left his long-term job as CEO of ATP Real Estate at the end of December, Nielsen will start work in his new role at DSC in Copenhagen on 1 February.NN IP – Edith Siermann has started as head of fixed income solutions and responsible investing at NN Investment Partners. She has also joined the investment management team.Siermann has 25 years experience in asset management and joined from supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), where she was CIO and member of DNB’s corporate social responsibility committee focusing on integrating sustainability into the central bank’s core activities. Prior to this, Siermann was global CIO for fixed income and managing director at Robeco, where she developed fixed income products and activities and co-ordinated responsible investment.Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) – James Walsh has taken on a new role at the UK pensions trade body, becoming its head of membership engagement. Walsh was previously policy lead for engagement, EU and regulation, and said he would still be working on EU policy in his new role. Natixis Investment Managers – The €831bn asset management group has has appointed Andrew Benton to the newly created position of head of northern Europe, tasked with developing its institutional business across the region. Benton was previously head of UK institutional business at State Street Global Advisors, and has previously held senior roles at Barings, Schroders, RCM and Royal London Asset Management.Oliver Bilal, head of international sales and marketing, said northern Europe was “a key focus” for Natixis’ development. London Pensions Fund Authority (LPFA) – The £5.6bn (€6.3bn) pension fund has appointed Christina Thompson to its trustee board, effective 1 January, for a four-year term. She is currently the acting director of corporate resources at the London Borough of Lambeth, which includes responsibility for the borough’s £1.4bn pension scheme.The Pension SuperFund – The UK defined benefit scheme consolidator has added Caroline Rookes and Michele Hirons-Wood to its board of trustees.Rookes is a former chief executive of the UK’s Money Advice Service and also led the private pensions work at the Department for Work and Pensions. She is currently a trustee at the National Employment Savings Trust and the Civil Service Sports Council Superannuation Scheme.Hirons-Wood is currently head of pensions at UK Power Networks, and holds a number of non-executive roles connected to electricity industry pension bodies.BNP Paribas Asset Management – The €569bn asset manager has named Sylvain Ghisoni as country sales head for France. He will join the company on 21 January and will be responsible for business development with wholesale and institutional clients.Ghisoni joins from Amundi , where he was deputy head of distribution for France and Monaco. He was previously head of wholesale and distribution for France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Monaco at Pioneer Investments from 2008 until the company’s acquisition by Amundi in 2017.Artemis – The UK-based fund manager has hired Antonia Stirling as co-head of stewardship. She joined from Standard Life Aberdeen, where she was head of corporate stewardship from 2010. Before that, Stirling spent five years at Deloitte. At Artemis, Stirling shares the stewardship role with Inez Oliver, who joined Artemis in 2005 and is a corporate governance specialist. De Nationale APF – Dutch general pension fund De Nationale APF has appointed Jacob Schoenmaker as executive board member, primarily responsible for asset management, finance and control. He will also be tasked with liaising with the scheme’s business partners NN Investment Partners and Altis.Schoenmaker has worked at the occupational pension fund for general practitioners (SPH), the Elsevier Pensioenfonds, Rabobank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and several insurers, where he gained experience as CIO, portfolio manager and investment strategist.Pensioenfonds Avebe – Erik Elderman has been appointed as the new chairman of the €244m Dutch company pension fund Avebe. He succeeds Hans Miedema, who has exceeded his maximum term, after having chaired the scheme for 11 years. Elderman is head of Avebe’s internal audit department. Prior to this, he worked as a chartered accountant at PwC for 10 years.Barnett Waddingham  – The UK actuarial consultancy group has added Rosie Fantom as a bulk annuity consultant. She joins from Scottish Widows, where she was a founding member of its bulk annuity business and worked on transactions worth a collective £4bn.Fantom previously worked at the Prudential Regulatory Authority supervising pension insurers, and also helped establish consultancy firm LCP’s bulk annuity business.BlackRock – The asset management giant has appointed Barbara Kos as head of marketing in the Netherlands. She will be responsible for marketing activities for institutional, retail and iShares clients.She joins from Pictet AM where she was responsible for market positioning, and left as head of fund distribution for intermediaries. She has also worked in business development at insurer Delta Lloyd and had marketing positions at Fidelity International and ABN Amro.AllianzGI – Adrian Grammerstorf has joined AllianzGI’s team in Munich from UniCredit, bringing 15 years of mid-market debt experience. Grammerstorf will be responsible for developing the asset manager’s mid-market debt investment activity across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.OpenGamma – The specialist derivatives analytics company has hired Stephen Plestis to lead its sales team. He was previously head of Credit Suisse’s derivatives operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, building the business during a 14-year tenure. He has also spent 10 years at Merrill Lynch in various roles.last_img read more