Every day our safety, security and way of life are protected by our courageous Armed Forces personnel across the world. They are often risking life and limb for our security and making huge personal sacrifices.

Mental illnesses caused by life on the battlefield can have a devastating impact on our brave heroes and their families.

It is our moral and professional duty to ensure that we do all we can for our world class troops and to ensure that we are there for them in their own time of need.

That’s why the Government is going to invest £220 million for Armed Forces mental health services.

There will be an increase in the amount already spent each year in this area and we have commissioned the new 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline which will be run by the charity Combat Stress.

The helpline will act as a gateway to mental health services for service personnel, veterans, and their families.

It will help identify people in need of support and link them with 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.

We are rightly very proud of Armed Forces and I am glad that their personal well-being is a top priority for the Government.

Of course it is not only members of the Armed Forces who experience mental health issues - they can affect anyone.

One thing I am very keen to see is an end to the stigma around mental health, and open and honest discussions on the subject.

I am also looking for new and innovative ways to support people with mental health issues.

Earlier this year I hosted a discussion in Westminster on the role of sport in helping people overcome mental health problems.

I have also joined Swindon Mind for a number of their sport sessions in Swindon, providing a very good example of the power of sport.

The Government’s sports strategy, Sporting Future, set a new policy direction and placed mental health as one of the five fundamental outcomes, with a specific Key Performance Indicator listed for mental health.

Another key development is the Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation. The Charter uses the power of sport and recreation to promote well-being and seeks to tackle the stigma associated with mental ill-health. The Charter now has over 300 signatories and continues to go from strength to strength.

Finally, this Sunday is the Oscars, where Swindon’s very own Maisie Sly will be amongst the glamorous audience.

Maisie stars in the film The Silent Child, which has been nominated in the Best Live Action Short Film category.

The film highlights the difficulties that deaf children can face, and Maisie – who is deaf herself - plays the main role.

I saw the film last Monday at Swindon Arts Centre and was incredibly impressed by Maisie’s performance.

She is an extremely talented young girl who has already done a huge amount to raise awareness for deaf people, particularly children, and highlight the importance of early support for families.

She has a glistening future ahead of her and whatever the outcome on Sunday, she has certainly done Swindon proud!