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Risk of Massive Mental Health Problems High Among British Troops

by Rajashri on August 28, 2009 at 9:31 PM
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 Risk of Massive Mental Health Problems High Among British Troops

A former Special Air Service soldier has revealed that British soldiers are faced with massive mental health problems due to drastic working conditions and out of date support techniques.

Ex-trooper Bob Paxman, 41, has broken the SAS vow of silence to reveal the risk soldiers face fighting post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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"The military have got a massive problem on their hands and they haven't faced up to it yet. It can be anything from flashbacks, nightmares, depression or self-medication with drugs or alcohol," said Paxman, who has set up a charity to help those suffering in silence.

His newly registered charity, Talking2Minds, uses cognitive, neuro-linguistic and time line therapies.

"It's a huge problem and we are getting a lot of telephone calls each week from the tri-services and the blue light services," Sky News quoted him, as saying.
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Critics claim the Ministry of Defence has not provided the support troops need, especially with increasing work loads post-9/11 with action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

PTSD experts estimate one in five troops being affected and Paxman believes the military's method of treating troops is decades out of date.

"They have certain types of counselling but these processes are basically based in the 1960s," Paxman, who left the service after 11 years in 2000, said.

The Ministry of Defence denies their facilities are outmoded.

An MoD spokesman told Sky News Online: "The MoD takes the mental welfare of all our personnel extremely seriously and extensive measures are in place to prevent and treat mental health concerns.

For elite Special Forces soldiers revealing problems might mean being sidelined permanently.

"The worst fear everyone in the SAS has is that they'd get binned form the unit if they said something - and they probably would," Paxman said

Source: ANI
RAS
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