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    British troops prepare to depart upon the end of operations for U.S. Marines and British combat troops in Helmand

    Number of Mentally Ill UK Troops Soar Amid Iraq, Afghanistan Wars

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    The number of the British troops suffering from mental illnesses increased by almost a third amid wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Telegraph reports.

    MOSCOW, January 20 (Sputnik) — The number of soldiers and officers suffering from mental disorders, including stress disorder and depression, grew from 3,927 in 2011 to 5,076 in 2013, The Telegraph reported Tuesday, citing Defense Ministry figures.

    The figure for 2014 is likely to rise again, according to statistics from the first half of the year, according to the newspaper.

    "You cannot ignore the fact that the Army has just spent over 10 years on intensive operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. You have soldiers who have been exposed to intense operations. There is pressure on their families and pressure on themselves, often during long tours," Stuart Tootal, a former colonel, now a mental health activist, was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

    Tootal urged the government to “to create a continuity of support” for retired troops suffering from mental problems, the Telegraph reported.

    The Defense Ministry allocated 7.4 million pounds ($11.23 million) to treat soldiers with mental diseases in 2013.

    In July 2014, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published a study suggesting that US veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder were four times more likely to suffer from drug or alcohol addiction.

    Related:

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    British Defense Ministry, Human Rights Watch, Stuart Tootal, Iraq, Afghanistan, United Kingdom
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