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PTSD rates for British armed forces members have increased

THE armed forces are facing increasing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rates, new research by King’s College London suggests.

The overall rate of PTSD among current and ex-serving personnel was 6 per cent in 2014-16, compared with 4 per cent in 2004-06.

The rise in the condition, triggered by exposure to traumatic events, was mainly seen among veterans deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, with 9.4 per cent suffering PTSD. For those who did not participate in the two conflicts, a rate of 5 per cent was recorded.

Rates of PTSD among the civilian population stand at about 4 per cent.

King’s College London professor of psychiatry Simon Wessely said: “Our results suggest the risk of mental ill-health is carried by those who have left the service and that part of the legacy of conflicts on mental health has taken time to reveal itself.”

Ex-serving personnel deployed in a combat role were found to have higher rates of PTSD — 17.1 per cent — compared with 5.7 per cent of those who had been in a support role.

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