UK & World News

  • 12 May 2014, 6:11

'Horrors Of War Take Toll On UK Troops'

The number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health support has risen significantly, according to new figures.

Charity Combat Stress said 358 ex-military personnel sought help for mental illness last year, compared with 228 in 2012.

The majority of those veterans were treated for post traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety.

The charity's chief executive, Commodore Andrew Cameron, warned that the numbers are likely to increase over the coming years.

"With demand for our services already surging, Combat Stress faces a real challenge in continuing to provide our unique life changing clinical treatment and support services to those who need it," he said.

"We are planning for services at or above the current level for at least the next five years, and we do not expect to see demand for support tail-off in the near future."

Commodore Cameron said one fifth of all veterans are likely to suffer from mental illness.

"A small yet significant number of veterans who serve in the armed forces each year continue to relive the horrors they experienced on the front line. Day in, day out, they battle these hidden psychological wounds, often tearing families apart in the process," he said.

"They have faced unique challenges and require, and deserve, specialist support to help them overcome these challenges."

Combat Stress has supported more than 100,000 veterans since 1919 and is currently helping more than 5,400, which is more than at any time in its history.

Commodore Cameron added: "We cannot allow the ex-service men and women who suffer from the invisible injuries of war to go unnoticed and untreated. This is an unnecessary drain on society and our veterans and families deserve better."

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