Data which has been released by a specialist mental health charity has revealed that mental health referrals for ex-servicemen and women have increased by a staggering 26% in the last year alone. The charity is currently working with nearly 6,000 military patients which is more than they have ever worked with since it was founded back in 1919.
The charity has commented that one of the biggest contributing factors for this rise is likely to be down to the fact that there has been an increase in veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who are now seeking help.
It believes that those who have fought in recent conflicts are now coming forward for treatment. The Director of Medical Services at the charity commented:
“We are very concerned at the significant rise in those coming forward with military PTSD. It is the biggest increase we have seen in recent years and we expect it to continue.”
This information has come to light following the recent Budget announcement which revealed that there is to be an increase in funding for NHS veterans’ mental health services. Although this is fantastic news, the charity is concerned about the demand for specialist treatment which will require additional funding and resources that the NHS simply cannot access.
Although mental health is still a taboo, these figures do suggest that progress is being made when it comes to breaking down stereotypes. Historically, it has taken veterans on average more than 13 years to seek help from the time they end their military service whereas they now seem to be reaching out much sooner.
If you have worked as a military professional and would like help treating post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety or any other mental disorder, please feel free to visit our Combat Veterans page for more information. You can also contact Life Works for more help and information.