COMMENTARY

Sunday Express - - SCANDAL OF OUR ABANDONED ARMY VETERANS - By Sue Freeth

MOST vet­er­ans tran­si­tion suc­cess­fully from mil­i­tary to civil­ian life but a small num­ber are af­fected by men­tal health prob­lems in­clud­ing post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD). They can strug­gle to leave be­hind the trauma they’ve ex­pe­ri­enced, re­liv­ing it so of­ten that they find it hard to func­tion in civil­ian life. PTSD has an enor­mous rip­ple ef­fect, tear­ing fam­i­lies apart, de­stroy­ing re­la­tion­ships and dev­as­tat­ing lives.

Vet­er­ans with se­ri­ous men­tal health con­di­tions, es­pe­cially if re­lated to mil­i­tary op­er­a­tions and com­bat, need specialist care from ser­vices with ex­per­tise in treat­ing PTSD. Ev­ery life is pre­cious and at Com­bat Stress we do all we can to sup­port for­mer ser­vice­men and women with men­tal health prob­lems. We pro­vide a range of free ser­vices at our treat­ment cen­tres and through re­gional com­mu­nity teams in­clud­ing short-stay clin­i­cal treat­ment, a specialist PTSD In­ten­sive Treat­ment Pro­gramme, oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy, a Peer Sup­port Ser­vice and a free 24-hour Helpline 0800 138 1619. We also pro­vide a helpline to ser­vice per­son­nel and their fam­i­lies on 0800 323 4444. Find out more at com­bat­stress.org.uk. Vet­er­ans can also seek sup­port through Vet­er­ans’ Gate­way which puts them and their fam­i­lies in touch with or­gan­i­sa­tions best placed to help them. Call 0808 802 1212 or visit vet­er­ans­gate­way.org.uk

‘Ev­ery life is pre­cious and we do all we can’

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