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  1. ITV Report

PTSD: Help for armed forces 'improving, but still not good enough', says minister

For the men and women of our armed forces their experiences on the frontline can often leave them battling with their mental health long after returning home.

According to experts at Kings College London, almost 22 per cent of people who had served in either Afghanistan and Iraq had some an issue with their mental health. While around six per cent were treated more specifically for post traumatic stress disorder.

Today, the Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood was answering questions on what support the Government provides.

He admitted that there is more to do but said levels of staffing to provide that help is improving.

It was 75 percent, but now it's crept back up to 91 percent. Still not good enough. Our target is 95 percent and that's why a plan is being put in place to make sure we get the necessary employment in place.

There's now a requirement for more - the support that's required is growing and therefore we have to respond to that as well.

– Tobias Ellwood, Defence Minister

If you or anyone you know has been affected by PTSD below is some help and advice from the NHS.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.

  • Causes of PTSD

Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD.

These can include: serious road accidents, violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery, a traumatic birth.

  • Complex PTSD

People who repeatedly experience traumatic situations such as severe neglect, abuse or violence may be diagnosed with complex PTSD.

Complex PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and may not develop until years after the event.

  • When to seek medical advice

It's normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but most people improve naturally over a few weeks.

You should visit your GP if you or your child are still having problems about 4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome.

If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.

  • How PTSD is treated

PTSD can be successfully treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event.

Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event.

For more information visit the NHS website.