British troops in Afghanistan may suffer mental problems

December 28th, 2011 - 11:03 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 28 (IANS) At least one in five British soldiers — or 20 percent — serving in Afghanistan will suffer from some mental illness after leaving the battlefield, a study has said.

Nearly 4,800 of the total 24,000 men and women who quit next year will suffer, the Daily Express cited the study by Kings’ ¬≠College, London, as saying.

About 960 people were likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A total of 572 British personnel have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

War veterans’ ¬≠mental health charity Combat Stress studied 228 veterans from Afghanistan and 589 from Iraq.

In a grim warning of what may be expected, it said “a staggeringly large number of veterans are suffering in silence”.

The study published in medical journal The Lancet also warned that 13 percent of veterans were at risk of alcohol abuse.

The ministry of defence has made available seven million pounds (around $10.9 million) for extra care over the next four years.

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