The Mail on Sunday

We must fight for heroes who are hit by PTSD

Ellie’s right to end her shampoo contract


Mark Nicol’s interview with Alecia Emerson-Thomas, whose husband Peter has been struggling with PTSD after his return from Afghanista­n, was one of the best articles I have read on the subject and how it impacts not only on the victim but also makes families vulnerable. I empathise with Alecia and her family because I, too, suffered from PTSD, albeit as a civilian rather than as a member of the Armed Services.

As Alecia discovered, families of sufferers are often totally disregarde­d, but it is they who need as much guidance and support as the patient.

My own diagnosis came in 2006, after 20 years of suffering, and then only after the interventi­on of my employers who recognised I simply could not do my job.

They sent me to a private health clinic, where the duty doctor happened to be a retired RAF medical officer who knew a thing or two about trauma.

Improved public awareness is essential if we are to beat this. Christophe­r Gowers, Oxfordshir­e

There is no trust between welfare officers in the Army and the soldiers. My husband suffers with mental health issues. And, as Alecia states, being a wife means you are ignored. I am very proud of my husband but not the institutio­n he fights for.

A. Evans, Southampto­n

Government­s need to do more to look after the people they put in harm’s way. Darren Johnson, Londonderr­y

If, as the Ministry of Defence spokesman reported, £22 million a year is being spent on welfare, why are so many still asking for help and complainin­g? Open up that war chest and spend it on the people you sent to war.

V. Morris, Eastleigh, Hampshire

Sadly, the appalling treatment of veterans with PTSD is just another reason for people not to join the Forces. Name and address supplied

Not many people in the Services ever find themselves in such circumstan­ces. I served two tours in Vietnam with the US Navy where there were young men in small combat units of whom little was heard.

That kind of intense combat is most unnatural for normal people, and they will not have voluntary control of its psychologi­cal effects.

It is the moral responsibi­lity of the government that sent them to look for any disability, full stop.

It is probably not possible for us to comprehend the immediate reality of such experience­s, so we must beware of easy judgment.

B. Roy, Elgin

It’s not just within the Forces that mental health provision is lacking. With the NHS, it can take months just to get an assessment. What are vulnerable people supposed to do in the meantime? J. Bennett, London

It was good to read that pop star Ellie Goulding has not renewed her contract with Procter & Gamble to be the face of Pantene shampoo, as reported in last week’s Talk of the Town column. Although Ellie has not revealed the reason behind her decision, the company has recently come under fire over animal testing in China. My family, along with many others worldwide, have boycotted P&G products for many years over the firm’s refusal to stop funding cruel and unnecessar­y tests on animals. Philip Beaven, Swindon

I was horrified to learn last year that almost all the shower and make-up products I used were tested on animals. If everyone switched to cruelty-free products, then these companies would be forced to change. Name and address supplied

Perhaps Ellie will be donating the money she has earned to the animal causes she claims to support. My guess is she won’t. R. Carson, Penzance

END OF THE DEAL: Pop star Ellie Goulding will no longer promote Pantene shampoo in advertisem­ents

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