The Government has published an independent review into the experience of LGBTQ+ service personnel in the British Armed Forces between 1967 and 2000, detailing their pain distress and trauma.
It describes horrific sexual and physical abuse, homophobic bullying, abusive investigations and medical procedures, forced treatment, including conversion therapy, and dismissal following court martial or administrative discharge.
The review, carried out by Lord Etherton, and known as the Etherton Report, acknowledges the long-term impact of the ban on affected veterans, their family’s and loved ones and the wider community.
The North London Mental Health Partnership recognises the bravery it took for those who contributed to the Review, and for the work of Fighting with Pride and the LGBT+ veteran community in calling for this monumental publication. Following an apology to those affected by the ban, the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described the policies at the time as an “appalling failure of the British state”.
The North London Mental Health Partnership is proud to stand alongside and support the LGBT+ veteran community. As a Partnership, we are a proud employer of veterans and reservists of the British Armed Forces, and value the addition they and members of military families bring to our workforce. Both Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust (BEH) and Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I) are proud to be aligned with the Veterans Covenant Healthcare Alliance and are Veteran Aware
Trusts. Alongside this, OpCourage London, led by C&I, is accredited with the Pride in Veterans Standard, which demonstrates the service’s commitment to providing an inclusive service which is understanding of the needs of LGBT+ veterans, and their loved ones.
The review’s publication has the potential to give rise to a range of experiences, and we hope that the report provides those affected by the policies at the time with a sense of beginning to feel heard and validated for the pain caused by such historic hurt. Yet, the report’s publication may also give rise to many painful feelings such as loss, betrayal, and injustice. The Partnership recognises that members of the workforce may have had those close to them, or themselves been impacted by the ban on LGBT+ service personnel in the Armed Forces. We therefore wanted to write to acknowledge the complexity of feelings that may arise in the publication of the review and bring awareness to support options available within and outside the Partnership.
Please click on the links below to find out more about the support available: