- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security
Ahead of Armed Forces Day, Saturday, June 27, a mental health charity is highlighting how many armed forces’ veterans in the UK are suffering from trauma and are not getting the therapeutic support that they need to get well and be rehabilitated. PTSD Resolution works with security companies and others, including the UK chapter of the US-based security management association ASIS, to provide therapy for staff who have been traumatised, as well as training for line managers.
PTSD Resolution is holding a free webinar on Friday, June 26, at 1.30pm, titled Trauma Awareness Training for Everyone. The TATE programme helps people to recognise the symptoms of trauma in themselves, their colleagues or staff they manage. It details support and routes for referral and treatment. The charity is also launching a film telling the story of a veteran of the First Gulf War, ‘The Silent Years’.
From UK Government figures it’s estimated about four per cent of those in custody and on community orders are ex-services personnel; but external estimates claim that the proportion in the prison population may be as high as 17 percent. Military trauma left untreated can result in addiction, family breakdown and even suicide, PTSD Resolution points out.
Patrick Rea, campaign director of PTSD Resolution, says: “The coronavirus lockdown gives us all some idea of the stress of losing our freedom – if not actually being in prison. Many veterans are in the system – in many instances, this is at least in part because of the effects of military trauma that they are still suffering. If they don’t receive the therapy they need in prison to get better, how can we expect them to rejoin society responsibly? It is a justice system and humanitarian issue.”
The charity has provided free mental health therapy to veterans, reservists and their families for 11 years, across the UK. It is one of the few providers of specialist help to former service’s personnel while they are in prison or have alcohol and substance abuse problems. Treatment is available through some 200 therapists, online or by phone during the lockdown.
Among ex-service personnel, 17 percent of those who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2014-2016 reported symptoms suggesting PTSD, according to research by the British Journal of Psychiatry. Those deployed in a support role such as medical, logistics, signals and aircrew were affected at a rate of 6 percent, 1 to 2 percent higher than in the general UK population. Emerging studies are indicating that following the pandemic, rates of PTSD among those serving as medical key workers, emergency service personnel and who have been affected by the pandemic are likely to be much higher.
The film ‘The Silent Years’ was produced and donated by students of Ravensbourne University: Shakeel Hussain, Editor; Louise Corleys, Editor and Sound; Poppy Louise Carter, Director; and Diana Alexandru, Producer.
For events happening near you on June 27, visit https://www.armedforcesday.org.uk/find-events/.