Afghanistan veteran, 21, found dead

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OptimisticJock, Dec 25, 2011.

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  1. Not sure if this is the right place or not. MODs please move if necessary but I wanted to post this. The local rag had a couple of articles but in print only.

    Far more needs done to de-stigmatise and give assistance with PTSD.

    I can't place Aaron but our paths must have crossed.

    Forward the Forty Twa

    Afghanistan veteran, 21, found dead - Edinburgh, East & Fife -
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  2. OJ - I completely agree.

    Similarly, 'Emz' has hit the nail on the head. Another family hammered by the unpleasant reality of war.

    Condolences to the family and friends.

    Peace at last for the lad.
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  3. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    This is sadly the beginning of a terrible chain of events, Northern Ireland and the Falklands war have shown it normally can take up to 14/15 years for PTSD to manifest itself , when you realize that more veterans of the FI committed suicide than were actually killed in the war we have a future mental health problem of gigantic proportions, and a government who don't in reality give a shit.
    In the first week of December 86 applications for war pension were turned down, and even if an ex serviceman is successful in gaining a pension ,now it seems that what the MOD/ SPVA giveth the Department of Work and Pension, Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue, or Local Authority taketh away, Just for once I would like to read my copy of "Private Eye" without finding that some jobsworth cnut has devised some new way of conning Disabled War Pensioners out of their pathetic pensions, so much for the cnut Cameron's much vaunted Military covenant
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  4. A mixture of recorded truth with the ramblings of an internet whinger.
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  5. It's a tragedy that I hope won't get worse than this one instance, but, that's unlikely. Rest in Peace to Aaron Black. My condolences to your family.
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  6. Gigantic proportions? You mean a couple of thousand soldiers if that. We seemed to do okay after two world wars and I'm sure there were less suicides after both wars than actually died in the wars unless nearly a million men killed themselves after WWI. They were a bit tougher in those days though.
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  7. PTSD is a real issue, and I know that the likes of Jack Daniels and others do a fine job of trying to help out with those that suffer.

    We are all different and all deal with things differently. Some need help, most don't. We should have a method for those that need it, and a method for those who notice the need to make contact.

    I don't think we've got a massive problem at all.

    The problem that exists these days is tha there are too many panty wetting, hand wringing do gooders out there.
  8. very sad.
    I mean that the young lad either didn't know where or how to get support, or didn't feel that he wanted what was available.
    'something must be done', as they say.
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  9. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    Using my own family as an example I think the reason that there were not to many PTSD/Psycho neurosis suicides after WW2 is due to the fact that the majority of the population had experienced some kind of trauma, and thus had the knowledge of what others were going through,and able to give support to each other, something you can only do now with one of the small number of people who have served and understand the problems.
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  10. jim24

    jim24 Book Reviewer

    There is nothing new about PTSD, war/shell shock/Soldiers heart/ Heroditus mentions Aristodemus the Spartan showed the symptoms in "The Histories"
  11. MrBane

    MrBane War Hero Reviewer Reviews Editor

    The system for identifying and dealing with PTSD is in place however, there is only so much the system can do if the individual isn't willing to co-operate.

    I've had three seperate talks about three seperate incidents I was involved in from our, eh, what's he called, the PTSD trained Officer that interviews you after whatever's happened... Each time my interview was as soon as appropriate and possible after the event and although he was 'new' to the role if you like, he certainly asked all the right questions. I entertained him for the first incident just to see what sort of stuff he was going to ask.

    Very thorough, very indepth, very searching.

    You should then get two further interviews spaced several months apart. I think it was 3 month and six month points.

    Personally, I told him not to bother and just tick the box when the time came, and for the later incidents I told him not to bother with the first interviews at all as I was fine; that is where the first break in the chain lies.

    Providing the trained Officer does his job properly and does the interview right, if he's willing to accept a soldier saying; "Look boss, really, don't waste your time with this, I'm fine." then perhaps that needs to be looked at and addressed and have it rammed home to these people that they cannot accept that. A quick 'refusal' for help like that because you feel fine at the time may mean that down the line, feelings and emotions start to come to light that could have been addressed before they became a problem.

    So to get back to the original line, the system is in place, it does work, however the soldier in question needs to have the moral courage to correctly assess his own condition and honestly answer the question: "Do I need or may I need help to deal with what I've experienced?"

    At the end of the day, there is, unfortunately, only so much the Army can do to help.

    Oh, by the way, not suggesting this is what happened in this case of course, but merely pointing out one of the ways the system can be used for good and also 'mis-used' if you like.
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  12. The fact that the lad was only 21 concerns me. When soldiers leave the service after such a short period it normally indicates a number of other issues. There is a limit to what the chain of command can do with someone who leaves at such a young age - in most cases they are determined to go, no matter what, and they are hardly likely to admit to any problem which would delay their departure.

    It is also important to realise that young men in that age group are in one of the highest risk groups for committing suicide. I am happy to stand corrected but I would reckon that this poor lad probably had a host of other issues which PTSD just added to. His family and friends will need to find blame - it doesn't help if the press latch onto it and point the finger at the Army.
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  13. The local paper mentioned he was finding adjusting to civvy life hard too (they also have him down as 22). He'd been seen a couple of times by doctors for PTSD and his mother was in no way holding the Army to blame, she recognised much of what has been said here that there is a system in place but can only work if it's given the opportunity to by the soldier.
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  14. This is a sad case but one that brings no surprise, sadly. I do this for a living and have worked with soldiers and their families for the past 3 years. It's a sad fact that some of those returning from Ops (very few thankfully) are beyond what can be offered by both front line and second line support. We all know about POSM and TRiM and how it should be applied. However, in reality the application is not always carried out.

    I am not going to comment on this case as there seems to be too much background and only those in the know will be able to discuss. It is however clearly another sad statistic that could be logged up to PTSD or another symptom.

    Either way, it appears this young lad decided to take his own life and that, in itself is so very wrong. It is true that a lot of veterans from the FI and Ireland are unable to face the future and end up taken their lives. It is also true that help is out there but I often find they are too proud to seek it out. Again, so very sad.

    The Army have been running a campaign trying to rub out the stigma of mental illness and, in part it is working. However, for this young man it was too little too late.
  15. Jim I was told by a grown up (MP) who worked at Main Building that official figures show this to be untrue, along with the old line of x% of prisoners/homeless people are ex-forces. If you're are going to throw around statements like that then it would be appropriate to provide a reference to a credible source to back your claims, as a man who has been to university you must understand the importance of referencing.

    This is a sad story, and it is one that we will no doubt see repeated as time goes on. In my opinion much more could be done to help people who are returning from Afghanistan, there should be more screening of people at risk of developing psychological trauma, though this would not be very practical or cost effective. The best thing we can do help people returning from Afghanistan, other operational areas and just people who develop some form of mental illness over time is to work to getting rid of the stigma that is attached to these problems, not just in the Forces but also in the wider civilian world.

    From my expereince Armys campaign has been little more than something to fill a couple of pages in Soldier.