Following her surprise visit to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to speak with survivors of the Manchester bombing, The Queen has voiced concerns about the psychological repercussions of the attack on survivors.
At yesterday’s Royal Garden Party – the last at Buckingham Palace for 2017 – Her Majesty spoke with two Transport for London staff members about the bombing and shared her hope that those who suffered do not face long-term mental health problems.
Speaking with programme manager Chad Frankish and chief engineer Brendan Sleight, The Queen learned about a programme TFL started two years ago to help find and create employment opportunities for wounded and sick ex-armed forces personnel within the organisation. Since it’s inception TFL has hired 45 former military personnel, one of whom is former Royal Marine Commando Graeme Monk, whom Prince Harry inspired to apply.
A former RAF and Royal Engineers serviceman, Mr Frankish spoke about the potential of ex-military personnel: “This is a whole pool of people we can immediately tap into and with some reasonable adjustments we can set them on path to a fantastic career in the transport sector.
“This is the right thing to do, we should be doing this for our ex-Armed Forces – we should be supporting them, we should be helping them, we should be helping them to find work.”
After meeting Her Majesty, Mr Sleight shared that, “We talked about PTSD and whether some of the young children in Manchester will be affected by that, and she mentioned hopefully they won’t be affected…And we talked about, now it’s a recognised condition, especially with the work of her grandchild [Prince Harry], that it will be more open and they’ll get help for any PTSD straight away. ”
He added: “She seemed very informed because she mentioned that PTSD could come back, and we found that with some of the ex-servicemen that it’s not just a one-off treatment, we have to give them continued support and build that support network around them.”
With their Heads Together campaign, Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been actively encouraging people in the UK and around the world to engage in open dialogue on mental health problems.
With his military background it’s no surprise that Prince Harry has focused his efforts over the past few years on working to support the UK’s injured and sick armed forces personnel. This has included being the driving force behind the Invictus Games, which beings together veterans and wounded soldiers in Paralympic-style competitions.