Afghanistan, stress, suicide

#1
Piece in The Independent today about the long term effect of Afghanistan on troops' mental health.

I'm not a soldier so would welcome your thoughts on this - the Tories timing is surely not coincidental but I'm sure it's an important issue.

See a summary at: http://bit.ly/3h6mR

Would love to know what you think,

Vicki
 
#2
girlfromtheecho said:
Piece in The Independent today about the long term effect of Afghanistan on troops' mental health.

I'm not a soldier so would welcome your thoughts on this - the Tories timing is surely not coincidental but I'm sure it's an important issue.

See a summary at: http://bit.ly/3h6mR

Would love to know what you think,

Vicki
Always polite to ask the site owners before trawling for stories Journo.
 
#4
Girlfromtheecho, Are you that Vikki bird? If so big thumbs up on some of your pieces. You should ask the owners first though.

Arrsers read the articles in the link before launching into one
 
#5
BPS666 said:
Girlfromtheecho, Are you that Vikki bird? If so big thumbs up on some of your pieces. You should ask the owners first though.

Arrsers read the articles in the link before launching into one
If this is you:

Vicki Kellaway - is a passionate supporter of the Armed Forces and blogs on everything from charity events to operations abroad
Well done girl and keep up the good work!
 
#6
girlfromtheecho said:
Piece in The Independent today about the long term effect of Afghanistan on troops' mental health.

I'm not a soldier so would welcome your thoughts on this - the Tories timing is surely not coincidental but I'm sure it's an important issue.

See a summary at: http://bit.ly/3h6mR

Would love to know what you think,

Vicki
Speaking as an ex-forces person. Operations send you to places that the UK environment does not prepare you for. Is it a surprise that it comes with a cost?
 
#7
Serving Personnel, the RAF Government 'Yes Man' toady won't speak out on your behalf...........Another request; civvies, cadets and those not qualified to comment please refrain. Jounalists are not always the 'enemy' unless of course your a 'bandwagon jumping walt'.

As I am only 'baby murdering, civillian beating' figure of hate and a servent of Satan for having served In Iraq in '03, '04 and 07 I shall comment no further except for this one last point........Iraq and the media vitriolic against it, how did that impact on soldiers mental health?

Discuss
 
#8
#9
girlfromtheecho said:
Piece in The Independent today about the long term effect of Afghanistan on troops' mental health.

I'm not a soldier so would welcome your thoughts on this - the Tories timing is surely not coincidental but I'm sure it's an important issue.

See a summary at: http://bit.ly/3h6mR

Would love to know what you think,

Vicki
It is a fact that psychiatric care within the armed forces has fallen to an all time low. Anyone else had a someone they work with sent to see psych help after a tour and end up as the only 20 something in a group of alcoholic and drug abusing 40 yr olds (I don't mean the the Sgts Mess)

Post service care is meant to be provided by the NHS - with support from Combat Stress (ex-Sevices Mental Welfare Society) 90 tears old this year.
Their work is outstanding - http://www.combatstress.org.uk/pages/fundraising.html
 
#10
At the end of the day nothing can prepare a soldier for what he may experience in combat. Some just deal with it better then others. Once a soldier accepts he has a problem there is much the MoD can and will do for him. The system is much better then it was for the blokes who came back from the Falklands.
 
#12
ALVIN said:
Like has been after every battle, ever since the dawn of mankind.
That's that then, great, thanks for that input. On that note no one should bother their arse addressing the issue. :roll:
 
#13
Fallschirmjager said:
At the end of the day nothing can prepare a soldier for what he may experience in combat. Some just deal with it better then others. Once a soldier accepts he has a problem there is much the MoD can and will do for him. The system is much better then it was for the blokes who came back from the Falklands.

I agree with your point that still serving members of the armed services get help from the MOD, however, once you have left the services the MOD don't care diddly squat, plus given the fact that the PTSD can lay dormant for years ( current average is around 14 years) there is still potential for a huge amount of ex service pax who will be in need of help. More importantly, the NHS psych services are fully aware of that fact but the MOD don't seem to be making any moves in the help direction.

fingers crossed though..something might be around the corner other than mass suicides.
 
#14
Fallschirmjager said:
At the end of the day nothing can prepare a soldier for what he may experience in combat. Some just deal with it better then others. Once a soldier accepts he has a problem there is much the MoD can and will do for him. The system is much better then it was for the blokes who came back from the Falklands.
Fair one, but how many soldiers will admit to such a problem? Hopefully, times have changed.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#15
StickyEnd said:
Fallschirmjager said:
At the end of the day nothing can prepare a soldier for what he may experience in combat. Some just deal with it better then others. Once a soldier accepts he has a problem there is much the MoD can and will do for him. The system is much better then it was for the blokes who came back from the Falklands.
Fair one, but how many soldiers will admit to such a problem? Hopefully, times have changed.
Good point. Will the older career soldier feel that he/she has to repress the urge to 'go sick' or would doing so be seen by some as a risk to a future promotion? Do mental health issues remain stigmatized by those who decide who will and who won't be promoted? I would imagine that it would be difficult to convince a 17yr CSgt or Staffie barking at WO2 that he/she should seek help. In addition, what about the peripheral issues affecting those who do not seek help or who do not believe that they have a problem? Alcohol? Drugs? Depression? Domestic violence? The system is a lot better than it was previously, but I would imagine that you are correct in that a problem may lie in getting the individual to recognise that they need help.
 
#16
boomboom said:
girlfromtheecho said:
Piece in The Independent today about the long term effect of Afghanistan on troops' mental health.

I'm not a soldier so would welcome your thoughts on this - the Tories timing is surely not coincidental but I'm sure it's an important issue.

See a summary at: http://bit.ly/3h6mR

Would love to know what you think,

Vicki
It is a fact that psychiatric care within the armed forces has fallen to an all time low. Anyone else had a someone they work with sent to see psych help after a tour and end up as the only 20 something in a group of alcoholic and drug abusing 40 yr olds (I don't mean the the Sgts Mess)

Post service care is meant to be provided by the NHS - with support from Combat Stress (ex-Sevices Mental Welfare Society) 90 tears old this year.
Their work is outstanding - http://www.combatstress.org.uk/pages/fundraising.html
With the exception of the Royal Navy Departments of Community Mental Health that run a couple of highly specific programmes (which do not resemble what you're describing), all the clinical work in military mental health is done on a one to one basis. I would be interested to hear where your colleague was treated.

I would also draw peoples attention to this thread, which contains much useful info-

http://www.arrse.co.uk/Forums/viewtopic/t=65269/postdays=0/postorder=asc/start=0.html
 
#17
Biscuits_AB said:
StickyEnd said:
Fallschirmjager said:
At the end of the day nothing can prepare a soldier for what he may experience in combat. Some just deal with it better then others. Once a soldier accepts he has a problem there is much the MoD can and will do for him. The system is much better then it was for the blokes who came back from the Falklands.
Fair one, but how many soldiers will admit to such a problem? Hopefully, times have changed.
Good point. Will the older career soldier feel that he/she has to repress the urge to 'go sick' or would doing so be seen by some as a risk to a future promotion? Do mental health issues remain stigmatized by those who decide who will and who won't be promoted? I would imagine that it would be difficult to convince a 17yr CSgt or Staffie barking at WO2 that he/she should seek help. In addition, what about the peripheral issues affecting those who do not seek help or who do not believe that they have a problem? Alcohol? Drugs? Depression? Domestic violence? The system is a lot better than it was previously, but I would imagine that you are correct in that a problem may lie in getting the individual to recognise that they need help.
I don't think it's neccessarily the promotion thing with a lot of young soldiers, more that their macho pride makes them supress the feeling in a somewhat misguided view that they have to appear bullet proof. I think we'll all admit when younger we had the bullsh!t brovado thing going on?

I think your mid 20's & older soldier is much more likely to seek help because they are more comfortable in themselves, position in the army & realise a lot of the macho stuff is bull.

A lot can be said for the approach of the troop sgt sending everyone into spend time with a counsellor after tour regardless of whether they want to on the basis that those that need to talk, but want to save face can.


Edited to add: This better not be a "Wah"
 
#19
Woofer829 said:
Perhaps compulsory screening for all on return from theatre is the way forward.
Unfortunately not as many of the symptoms of PTSD may (I stress may here) not become apparent for a significant period of time afterwards, ie months or years. It may help to identify those who could be more vulnerable, but that is no guarantee that one will or will not develop PTSd unfortunately.
 
#20
boomboom said:
girlfromtheecho said:
Piece in The Independent today about the long term effect of Afghanistan on troops' mental health.

I'm not a soldier so would welcome your thoughts on this - the Tories timing is surely not coincidental but I'm sure it's an important issue.

See a summary at: http://bit.ly/3h6mR

Would love to know what you think,

Vicki
It is a fact that psychiatric care within the armed forces has fallen to an all time low. Anyone else had a someone they work with sent to see psych help after a tour and end up as the only 20 something in a group of alcoholic and drug abusing 40 yr olds (I don't mean the the Sgts Mess)

Post service care is meant to be provided by the NHS - with support from Combat Stress (ex-Sevices Mental Welfare Society) 90 tears old this year.
Their work is outstanding - http://www.combatstress.org.uk/pages/fundraising.html
As Neuroleptic says this is not a description of military mental health that I recognise. I would also say, at the risk of saying something akin to kicking a puppy but this is from my clinical practice experience, that Combat Stress whilst a valuable resource and not reducing the difference they've made to many people, is not successful for all the people who go there and isn't the golden solution.

A much more joined up way of working post discharge between the NHS and MOD is required before we can really get a grip of the problem, though as I always point out the number of PTSD cases with a military cause that appear in an NHS trust area is still very, very low in terms of proportion of referrals.
 

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