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    Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans in UK in Need of Mental Health Assistance

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    According to the UK Parliament's Defense Committee, the number of the country's military veterans, returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, who require the requisite assistance to deal with the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol misuse, has increased.

    MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) — UK military veterans, returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, lack the requisite assistance to fight post-traumatic stress, domestic violence, as well as increased consumption of alcohol, a report, published by the UK Parliament's Defense Committee Thursday said.

    "… we found that the MoD [Ministry of Defense] did not have a complete understanding of the mental health needs of serving personnel or veterans. We recommended that the MoD identify the extent of mental health problems in the Armed Forces, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol misuse. We were also concerned about the higher incidence of mental health problems of reservists, who had been deployed. We concluded that mental health was an area we needed to follow up with the Armed Forces and the MoD," the report said.

    According to the report, the number of troops, seeking assistance with their mental health, has increased. In this regard, the Committee called upon the UK Ministry of Defense to present plans on dealing with the backlog of work.

    "In response to this Report, the MoD should inform us of its plans to deal with the increased volume of work and tell us how quickly it can ramp up its support for personnel in the event of any further acceleration in the number of personnel, coming forward for help," the report urged.

    Regarding the increased levels of alcohol consumption, the committee said that no significant efforts have been made by the country's Defense Ministry.

    "We are not convinced that sufficient focus has been given to dealing with the problem at every level of the chain of command. We also question whether the MoD has examined whether excess alcohol consumption may, in some Service personnel, be masking other mental health problems," the members of the defense committee said in the report.

    As regards domestic violence, the committee said that the ministry withheld information on the matter by saying that there was no evidence that would have suggested "domestic violence is a greater problem with the Service community than in the civilian community."

    "The MoD has limited information on the number and nature of incidents of domestic violence in the Armed Forces, and, in particular, in the Reserve Forces nor does it know how many of these incidents happen as a result of deployment in combat roles," the report added.

    The Defense Committee also urged the country's Defense Ministry to revisit its policies to assist military veterans with problems they have with their mental health.


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    alcohol problems, post-traumatic stress, military veterans, military, Iraq, Afghanistan, United Kingdom
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