Increase in Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health advice

There has been a 57% annual rise in the number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health support, according to new figures. Some 358 ex-military personnel sought help in 2013 from the mental health charity Combat Stress.

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More Afghan veterans seeking mental health support

British war veterans from the war in Afghanistan are seeking support for mental health issues like never before, according to mental health charity Combat Stress.

The latest figures from the charity suggest a 57% increase in the number of veterans attempting to access services.

ITV News Reporter Dan Rivers reports

Combat Stress charity treating more Afghan veterans

Mental health charity Combat Stress has 662 Afghanistan veterans in its care and has been treating a rising number of soldiers who fought there.

The number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health support has climbed by 57 per cent Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Commodore Andrew Cameron, the charity's chief executive, said: "We cannot allow the ex-service men and women who suffer from the invisible injuries of war to go unnoticed and untreated.

"This is an unnecessary drain on society and our veterans and families deserve better."

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'57% rise' in war veterans seeking mental health support

The number of Afghanistan veterans seeking mental health support has climbed according to new figures.

Some 358 ex-military personnel sought help from mental health charity Combat Stress last year, compared with 228 in 2012, meaning a 57% rise in cases.

Some 358 ex-military personnel sought help from mental health charity Combat Stress last year. Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Archive

The charity's chief executive, Commodore Andrew Cameron, warned that the numbers are likely to increase over the coming years and they face "a real challenge" in continuing treatment for those who need it.

He said: "We are planning for services at or above the current level for at least the next five years, and we do not expect to see demand for support tail-off in the near future."

"A small yet significant number of veterans who serve in the armed forces each year continue to relive the horrors they experienced on the front line. Day in, day out, they battle these hidden psychological wounds, often tearing families apart in the process," he said.

Commodore Cameron said one fifth of all veterans are likely to suffer from mental illness.

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