Reservists back from war may have mental problems

August 20th, 2011 - 10:16 am ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 20 (IANS) British Army reserves returning from war-torn Afghanistan or Iraq are more likely to have mental health problems in comparison to full-time troops, as they have to struggle more to re-adjust to civilian life, a study has found.

Many Territorial Army soldiers found the transition from military life to be ‘challenging’ - putting them at greater risk of developing serious psychological problems linked to the battlefield, Daily Mail reported.

Conducted by academics from King’s College London, the study was carried out on 5,000 British troops, who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It said the reservists were more likely to feel that people back home did not understand what they had been through overseas, less likely to feel supported by the military and have more difficulty continuing general social activities.

Those left feeling unsupported after leaving their regiments were most vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression or alcohol abuse, it was found.

According to Samuel Harvey, the lead researcher, the reason for reservists’ higher mental health risks were difficult to glean.

He said: “The main message from this study is that those who wish to help reservists cope with the psychological impact of deployment need to not only focus on what happens during a tour of duty, but to consider what occurs after they return home.”

As per Britain’s Ministry of Defence figures, at least 10 British troops a day are seeking treatment for mental health problems suffered in the line of duty.

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