ON NOW Radio 4 - File on Four about combat stress


British troops who have suffered psychological trauma in battle have another fight on their hands when they return home.

File On 4 asks, why are growing numbers of Afghan veterans and other ex-soldiers failing to cope with life outside the army?

With estimates that as many as one in 10 people in prison now have army backgrounds, Allan Urry investigates claims that the NHS is still failing to deal with soldiers traumatised by war.

And he hears from vets, back from the front line, about the challenges of coping back home.

File On BBC Radio 4, 2000 GMT Tuesday 4 November 2008, repeated 1700, Sunday 9 November.
I'm due to meet Kevin Jones at a conference hosted by the Humberside mental welfare trust on 27 Nov. I lost count of the times he said he would "champion the cause" of individuals...He is the replacement for Derek Twigg and it would appear that he plans to make changes....I don't feel overly confident that he will though, Having been on and still travelling on the mental welfare state bus I have great trust and admiration for the efforts made by the Humberside mental welfare team and by the dedicated people at the Combat stress centres, but I have no confidence YET in just another Labour politician doing a task which I would presume he has no qualifications in.

I sincerely hope I am wrong in my feelings, for all the mentally scarred serving and ex serving members of the armed forces, I hope he can open a few more doors and get the treatments sorted out for WHEN THEY ARE NEEDED and not when more suicide statistics are recorded.

By personal experience, the new drive to get people back to work, including ex-service people (with physical and mental health issues)
are not well managed. Health and psychological services are not at the forefront of these Pathways projects (Jobcentres by their other name). There is plenty of funding, but tight holds on purse strings and little emphasis on treatment and recovery. Its "get a job now".

Make sure you get what you're entitled to. These companies are getting funding of millions of pounds.

How the hell do civilian employment staff begin to understand PTSD and physical trauma? These places are Employment Agencies, in reality.

People are being "mandated" to attend job coaching and skills assessments in often ham-fisted job advice teams.

These job coaches work to targets of three people in work, per week. Catch my drift? And there is little privacy in job interviews, meaning everyone is liable to overhear what "jobseekers" have to say.

Job coaches with little or no knowledge of ex-service issues include european immigrant job coaches ( no offence intended), and only one "health professional", not Occupational Therapists between fifty people and to coach ex-service people who may well require treatment and the services of Combat Stress or trauma services, before they are packed off to work!

In my own particular job, we are expecting chaos. Social Policy organisations have their concerns, too.

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