2gether highlights Post Traumatic Stress Disorder services for our veterans
2gether NHS Foundation Trust, the local mental health provider, is raising awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder and the local available support for our veterans.
Post traumatic stress is discussed with all soldiers prior to their deployment and there are field mental health services in all combat zones and throughout the UK.
Often it is up to12 years after leaving service that people find they are re-experiencing events with very visual images, physiological over-arousal including anger, poor concentration, nightmares and sleep disturbance and emotional numbing which affects relationships and can affect the ability to work.
Between five per cent and 30 per cent of those who go to war are affected by post traumatic stress, the rates depending on the nature of the combat. The majority will suffer with more common health problems such as depression and anxiety.
David Wilcox, Let’s Talk, Clinical Lead at 2gether says: “There is a perception that it is only those who are involved in direct fighting who experience PTSD but the number engaged in direct combat can be as low as 10% of the force deployed.
“Often it is personnel from support roles, such as logistics, or medics and reservists, rather than those who have had direct experience of combat, who are worst affected. This is because they do not have the same level of cohesion as infantry or armoured units who have trained together intensively.”
In Gloucestershire, the Let’s Talk service, which provides talking therapies, has been trained to work with post trauma victims and specifically to work with veterans. The service runs a Veteran’s Clinic that people can access via their GP or by self referral. The service can be contacted on 0800 073 2200.
David continued: “No matter how strong someone may appear on the outside soldiers are just as vulnerable to workplace stress and anxiety as everyone else.
“Unfortunately the very nature of being a soldier is that you have to stay tough and resilient so post traumatic stress disorder is something that just isn’t discussed.”
Getting help starts with talking to your GP or making a telephone call. It is easy to contact 2gether's Let’s Talk service through our freephone telephone number 0800 073 320.
Veterans may also use this telephone number to arrange to make an appointment with Dr L A Neal, Consultant Psychiatrist, Former Wing Commander and Head of the Armed Forces PTSD Unit.