British veterans deprived of long-term support – MEPs – RT UK News
British veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan are deprived of long-term help, especially for mental health issues, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and war pensions and compensation payments, warns a multi-party group of deputies.
In a report released Thursday, MPs said slow assistance could have a negative impact, both physical and psychological, on troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan who suffered injuries.
Military personnel returning home from conflict often face new battles against PTSD and alcohol addiction. Alcohol dependence is twice as high among men in the military as among men in the general population of the same age group, according to the report.
“Although armed forces personnel have a lower rate of criminal offenses than the general population, the rate of violent incidents is considerably higher, especially among those who have previously been deployed in combat roles and those who abuse alcohol. “ the report cautions.
“Urgent action is needed to reduce the damage caused by alcohol abuse to members of the armed forces and their families. Too many members of the armed forces seem to believe that alcohol is an integral part of group cohesion, or that alcohol is an appropriate way to cope with returning from a military deployment.
The report, by the Commons Defense Committee, raises concerns about declining long-term support for veterans. The trend is expected to continue as the UK mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, bringing the soldier’s human cost “Fade from the mind of the public”.
Committee chairman MP Rory Stewart called on the government to provide greater support to British servicemen facing mental health issues upon their return from conflict areas.
“British society owes a unique debt of gratitude and an obligation to care for citizens who have risked their lives for their country”, he said.
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“We must be sure that the [Ministry of
Defence] The Department of Defense will continue to care for these individuals and their families should they ever suffer adverse effects from their service. The Defense Ministry has taken important steps in the right direction in recent years, but there is still a long way to go, especially when it comes to mental health. “
The Committee also found a “shocking” delay in processing applications for war pensions and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
“Veterans need more support to navigate the overlapping bureaucracy in the health care system,” the report cautions.
Walter Busuttil, director of medical services for the mental health charity Combat Stress, told The Guardian that this report is a
“A timely reminder that veterans can have difficult and complex memories of their time in combat and that some may come back with psychological wounds.”