Sharp rise in mental health and PTSD referrals

Despite the Ministry of Defence investing £7.4 million into mental health services, the amount of veterans seeking help for PTSD or other mental health illnesses since returning from active service has rocketed.

Combat Stress has announced a sharp rise in the number of veterans seeking help. They state that they have seen a 57% rise in the number of referrals compared to 2012.

Jason Brady of Blackwater Law commented that “I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there will be many more referrals in the coming years. As veterans realise that this is not their fault or a sign of weakness, they are more likely to come forward and seek proper medical treatment, which they are fully entitled to.”

Previously it has taken veterans many years to come forward and seek help for their symptoms. However, for veterans of Afghanistan this has fallen to approximately 18 months. Combat Stress has indicated that they expect this to rise even further as UK troops withdraw from Afghanistan in the coming months. In fact, the charity has said that it will continue to provide support to those in need at the same level for the next five years.

The rise in referrals could stem from the on-going publicity that psychological trauma has received over the past number of years and has lost some of the stigma associated with a mental health illness.

Quite often PTSD does not present itself immediately after a traumatic event, but can be set off at any time. It is important to recognise what is happening and to get help straight away, to aid your best chances of a swift recovery.

Symptoms can include:

  • Becoming irritable towards others
  • Feeling isolated or guilty
  • Insomnia and interrupted sleep
  • Frequently reliving the event
  • Increased feelings of anxiety and/or anxiety attacks

Treatments vary, but usually include different forms of counseling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and sometimes medication.

There are many charities that provide support and rehabilitation for veterans, which include Combat Stress and PTSD Resolution.

Jason Brady at Blackwater Law helps military and ex-military personnel across the country to claim compensation for PTSD. Blackwater Law works with PTSD Resolution should a client need treatment for PTSD. Call Jason on 0800 083 5500 and talk to him about PTSD compensation claims.