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Clinical Negligence in Mental Health

The #22DayPushUpChallenge. PTSD and the Ministry of Defence. Is enough being done to protect our veterans?

At Collingbourne Hennah Law Limited, we believe taking part in the #22PushUpChallenge is a great way to raise awareness of veterans" mental health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ("PSTD").

#The 22PushUpChallenge

The challenge started in the US earlier this year. Since, the challenge has gathered momentum and a large following of people doing 22 push ups in awareness of mental health and PTSD.

Studies have revealed there are 22 veterans a day that are committing suicide. That is 8030 veterans each year. This is a challenge to help raise awareness for that critical issue.

Trauma and PTSD

The NHS website defines PTSD as "an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia , and find concentrating difficult." [1]

The above mentioned symptoms can have a significant impact on the day-to-day life of those suffering from PTSD.

PTSD is often caused by some sort of trauma and unfortunately, veterans have experienced significant trauma during their careers. Examples include:-

  • serious road incidents;
  • violent personal assaults including robbery;
  • prolonged violence;
  • witnessing violent deaths;
  • terrorist attacks and,
  • being held hostage.

Whilst some experience PTSD immediately after an event or trauma, others do not suffer from PTSD someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.

PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience but unfortunately, reports show that such statistics are increasing. It is not clear as to why some people suffer from the condition whilst others do not.

The Ministry of Defence ("MOD") and PTSD

It must be recognised that the MOD are implementing additional policies, procedures and treatment programmes in order to combat against PTSD. However, as we can see from the alarming statistics set out above, enough is still not being done.

We accept that those going into the MOD do so with the knowledge that they are consequently more likely to suffer traumatic events however, further risk assessments are needed to protect serving soldiers and veterans from suffering from PTSD and, to help treat those who are suffering from the condition.

Many veterans who suffer from PTSD, be it if they have suffered from the condition immediately subsequent to the trauma or, if the PTSD presented itself years later, consequently struggle to live their daily lives. Earning a wage and re-joining social society may already be a significant task for veterans coming out of a career in the army, but for those suffering PTSD, these challenges are overwhelming. Further support in needed from the MOD to treat the PTSD and help the veterans regain their lives and normality.