Friday, 1 February 2008

MoD: PTSD in UK Armed Forces remains low

The latest statistics on mental health published today by the Ministry of Defence indicate that the number of service personnel assessed with a mental disorder remains relatively low, with 5 cases per 1000 being identified. The MoD's mental health teams have also found that 1 soldier in 3,000 is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These figures differ widely from those in a recent US research study which found that 1 in 12 US soldiers (250 per 3,000) were suffering from PTSD. So why the vast difference?
It could be that different methods of assessment are being used. It could be that, with shorter tours of duty (six months as opposed to 12-15 in the US army), British troops are exposed to intense levels of stress for less time. It could be that the UK's Defence Medical Services are better skilled and that the Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) mentoring is proving very effective. It could be that British soldiers are better trained, mentally stronger and have higher morale. Or it could of course be that the MoD's figures are wrong, that they are simply underestimating the number of cases (underestimation being one of the MoD's strengths).

Link> MOD releases latest Armed Forces mental health statistics
Link> PTSD: New US research study