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UK servicemen suffer from mental problems

1.5 per cent of those who served in the Iraq war have returned with serious psychiatric problems.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2006 19:48 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

At least 1,333 British servicemen and women -- 1.5 per cent of those who served in the Iraq war -- have returned from the Middle East with serious psychiatric problems, a report said on Thursday.

Official statistics identify those who were diagnosed with mental health problems while on duty and many Iraq veterans are now receiving little or no treatment for a variety of mental health problems, The Independent daily said.

Questions have also been raised about the level of care being given to regular soldiers, reservists and members of the Territorial Army, some of whose symptoms emerged after ending active service.

Many are not included in the figure of 1,333 while many claim they have been abandoned by the military establishment, the newspaper said.

The government figures, compiled between January 2003 and September 2005, emerged in an answer by Don Touhig, Minister for Veterans' Affairs, in response to a question by Mark Harper, MP.

Out of the 1,333 diagnosed as suffering from mental health problems, 182 have been found to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder while 601 are judged to have adjustment disorder or "combat stress".

A further 237 are classified as suffering from depression and 167 suffer other forms of mental illness or substance misuse, the paper said.

The Ministry of Defence said the problems faced by reservists were not being neglected but no solution had been found.

First Published: Feb 16, 2006 19:48 IST