Mel B has said more needs to be done in order to help those in the forces, dealing with PTSD following the death of her former security guard, 31-year-old, Corporal Ash Nickles.
Corporal Nickles, was an Afghanistan War veteran but was found dead at his home wearing his ceremonial blues uniform along with his medals on November 22nd.
It's believed that days before he was found, the former Marine looked for help from two different medical centres for his PTSD, but, they both allegedly turned him down.
Scary Spice. 44, told the Mirror that it was "a damming indictment of the lack of help for those suffering PTSD who are in such desperate need."
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The singer went on to add: "I talked a lot to Ash about PTSD. I suffer from it as a result of an emotional abusive marriage and he suffered from it as a result of what he went through and what he saw in war zones."
Dad-of-one, Ash served in 45 Commando was in the forces for 12 years before going on to work for the singer, as well as the likes of Ross Kemp and the TOWIE cast.
Friends of the late veteran claim that he had begun to struggle with his mental health after he left the Marines. Ash was wounded in Afghanistan and is understood to have been getting treatment for his PTSD for several years.
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His death brings the number of current and former serviceman and women believed to have taken their own lives, to 68, this year.
It's believed that 88 veterans took their lives in 2018.
Mel went on to say: "I met Ash more than a year ago because he looked after my daughter Phoenix. He watched out for her like she was his own daughter. She loved him.
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"I remember thinking, 'this man would take a bullet for my child'. Our worlds were so different, but we had a connection."
Scary Spice added: "When I had to do a tour for my book, Brutally Honest, I wanted him by my side because it was tough for me and he understood trauma on every level. He was with me in the run-up to the Spice Girls tour, too."
She claimed that Ash became "part of the family" and cried after thinking he had gone to receive help but had doors slammed in his face.
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"I guess I now just think, 'why didn't he call me?' but I know he was so very proud and he wanted everyone to believe he could cope. That is devastating."
Ash was found by Lucy Hughes in North Wales. The mum-of-three said: "Ash was like a brother to me, so to find him was devastating.
"This wasn't a spur of the moment decision, Ash had been struggling a long while. He had tried to see his GP but said he was denied an appointment because he had moved out of the catchment area.
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"He was told to try another centre but told me they, too, refused to help."
Lucy went on to add: "There were a lot of people trying to help Ash, but he was failed by a system that isn't geared up to helping veterans with mental health issues. Ash's death could have been prevented. I don't think it was the fault of the GPs. Ash fell through the cracks, but he is just one of many."
Following his departure from the Marines, Ash began a fitness training business as well as working as a close protection officer and bodyguard. He also worked as a security consultant in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Since his death, a JustGiving page was set up in order to raise £2,000 to cover funeral costs but has since exceeded £18,000.
Former Army head General Lord Dannatt said that veteran suicides are an "epidemic of our time".
"Should the Government have done more? Yes.
"Should some of the more established charities have done more? Yes."
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at [email protected]
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