May 13, 2014

PTSD: Charity warns of increasing mental health issues in veterans

A leading veterans’ mental health charity has been an incredible 57% increase in the amount of veterans from Afghanistan seeking help for mental health illnesses according.

Combat Stress specialises in helping veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other associated mental health issues. In 2012 the charity recorded 228 referrals, and this number has now escalated to 358. This may come as a surprise when the government has announced that it is providing £7.4 million for mental health services.

The charity anticipates this number to continuing rising as UK troops pull out of Afghanistan towards the end of 2014.  The charity is committed to providing care and support to veterans at the current level over the next five years.  This is a strong indication that they expect many more referrals in the coming years.

According to Combat Stress, the average time that veterans used to take in coming forward for treatment was roughly 13 years. In recent years this has fallen significantly to 18 months. It is believed that this is a result of far greater awareness about the causes and symptoms of illnesses such as PTSD and related mental health disorders.  It is also suggested that the stigma surrounding mental health and veterans realise the need for swift action and help.

In many cases, mental health disorders, including PTSD are not obvious straight away. However, any changes in mood and action following a traumatic event should be noted. If the feelings do not subside on their own and you begin to withdraw from yourself and society, then advice and help should be sought.

Symptoms can include:

  • Suffering anxiety attacks
  • Reliving the event, possibly during nightmares, night terrors and flashbacks
  • Being unable to sleep (insomnia)
  • Being irritable towards others
  • Having feelings of isolation or even guilt

Jason Brady at Holmes & Hills Solicitors helps military and ex-military personnel across the country to claim compensation for PTSD. Holmes & Hills works with a leading PTSD charity should a client need treatment for PTSD. Call Jason on 01376 529299 and talk to him about PTSD compensation claims.

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