Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Almost 4,000 servicemen and women a year hit by mental problems

Published Date: 05 November 2008

NEARLY 4,000 new cases of mental health disorders were diagnosed among armed services personnel last year, according to figures published yesterday.
Statistics released by the Ministry of Defence showed 3,917 mental disorders.

Of these, 1,879 served in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A breakdown of the statistics showed a significantly higher rate of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among those personnel who had deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, the Ministry of Defence claimed that PTSD remained a "rare" condition affecting only 145 personnel seen during 2007 who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That compared to 35 posted elsewhere and represented a ratio of just two in 10,000, said the MoD.

Chris Williams, of the defence medical services department, said that most of those who came forward for treatment were able to successfully return to their duties. He emphasised that only about 150 people a year were discharged for mental health reasons.

"What that demonstrates is that of people who come forward and get treatment, the vast majority of them go back to service," said Mr Williams.

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