One million British army heroes facing mental health battle

A million UK military veterans have faced mental health woes, a new report says.

Researchers found almost 40% of the 2.5 million ex-forces community have suffered depression, anxiety, alcoholism or post-traumatic stress.

It shows veterans are twice as likely to develop mental health problems compared to people on civvy street.

The report, in the British Medical Journal (and also covered by Sean Rayment in the Mirror) is based on the records of 2,500 ex-personnel and warns those who see combat are most likely to be hit.

Researchers found 44% of female veterans and 38% of men were affected. Depression is most common at 18% – equal to almost half a million veterans. Over 17% also struggled with alcohol. The figures may provide some explanation as to why so many veterans have taken their lives.

It would be interesting to know how many veterans are medically discharged as PTSD is particularly prevalent amongst those whose military careers have been cut short through injury.
Furthermore, the government’s Overseas Operations Act means that the MoD now avoids liability for any PTSD as a result of overseas service (combat cases are usually overseas) if the claim is not brought within six years of the date of incident, or within six years of the date of knowledge of the incident (whichever is later).

Hilary Meredith-Beckham