Over 1,500 British troops suffering mental problems from Iraq

Over 1,500 British troops suffering mental problems from Iraq

Posted By Scarlett Law Group || 11-Oct-2006

Over 1,500 British troops have returned from Iraq suffering from mental problems, including post traumatic stress disorder, Defence Secretary John Reid has revealed.

“Between January 2003 and December 2005 inclusive, 1,551 UK service personnel who had served in Iraq on Operation Telic were subsequently assessed by the Defence medical services as suffering from a mental health disorder,” Reid said.

“Between January 2003 and December 2005 inclusive, 1,551 UK service personnel who had served in Iraq on Operation Telic were subsequently assessed by the Defence medical services as suffering from a mental health disorder,” Reid said.

The number represents an increase of more than 200 cases diagnosed three months earlier up to the end of September last year, when 1,333 had been assessed as having mental illnesses.

“Of those 1,551 personnel, 208 were assessed as suffering from post traumatic stress disorder,” the Defence Secretary said about the latest figures published Wednesday as a written parliamentary answer.

He also told MPs that a further 696 personnel were diagnosed with “an adjustment disorder, which will include some who have post traumatic symptoms not amounting to full PTSD but with some symptoms of post traumatic stress.”
Other personnel, Reid said, were diagnosed with a range of other mental health conditions, including mood and neurotic disorders, and psychoactive substance misuse.

But he insisted the total suffering from mental problems represented only around 1.5 percent. of total UK service personnel deployed in the region during the same period.

The total number of UK troops in Iraq has been gradually reduced to 7,000. Some 3,000 have been withdrawn since October 2003, when they were reduced from around 25,000 ground troops to 10,000 troops there.

Over 100 British soldiers have been killed in Iraq during the last three years, including 33 during the war to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Reid said that he did not know the total number of personnel treated for physical injuries sustained in theater as they were “not collated centrally.”
“Complete information on medical treatment could only be compiled from personal medical records which are held by individual unit commands,” he said.

The Defence Secretary said that he could not give a figure for the total number treated for physical injuries as cases “can only be viewed for non-clinical reasons with the express consent of the individual concerned, to protect patient confidentiality.” Asked what provision is being made for the long-term care of British soldiers returning with a traumatic brain injury, he said there was a range of referral options depending upon the nature of the medical treatment required.

“In serious cases where it becomes apparent that the individual will be unable to remain within the armed forces, personnel will be medically discharged (or demobilized in the case of reservists),” he said.

Source: http://www.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-235/0605036207162100.htm

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