United Kingdom

Ministry of Defence pays out £53.8m in ten years to troops suffering from mental trauma

Military chiefs have paid out more than £53.8million in the last ten years to help British troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

More than 3,000 personnel and veterans received settlements from the Ministry of Defence after suffering from flashbacks and nightmares.

Servicemen and women who toured in Iraq and Afghanistan were included in the settlements, Ministry of Defence data has revealed.

The MoD’s Armed Forces Compensation Scheme paid out £42.1million in 3,120 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder payments, averaging £13,500 each.

Military chiefs have paid out more than £53.8million in the last ten years to help British troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, often linked to serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pictured: Soldiers diving into cover, during an ambush in Basrah, Iraq, in 2005

Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms include nightmares and flashbacks. The MoD’s Armed Forces Compensation Scheme paid out £42.1million in 3,120 Post Traumatic Stress Disorder payments, averaging £13,500 each

A further £11.7million was paid out in 64 court settlements, averaging £183,000 each.

Johnny Mercer, the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said: 'I have helped accelerate the introduction of a new high intensity service to meet the demand of those most in need.

WHAT IS PTSD? 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is 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.

These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.

PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.

Source: NHS

'As a former soldier, I am acutely aware of the experiences of those struggling with PTSD,' he told The Sun on Sunday.

Dr Walter Busuttil, Medical Director at charity Combat Stress: 'Combat Stress has long called for a properly coordinated approach to treating those in need.'

More than 300 personnel were diagnosed with PTSD in assessments carried out last year.

Of 301 diagnosed with the disorder, 216 were from the army, 37 from the navy, 30 from the RAF and 18 from members of the Royal Marines.  

PTSD can affect those who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event for months, or even years.

A previous study found that one in 13 young people in England and Wales experience post-traumatic stress disorder by the age of 18.

An estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed PTSD in their lifetime, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Is much more common in certain groups including firefighters, war veterans, rape victims and teenage car crash survivors.

The biggest single PTSD payment made by the Ministry of Defence is believed to be £2.4million to a Gulf War veteran in 2011.

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