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Hampshire Trust wins contract to provide mental health services to servicemen and women

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For service people in the Portsmouth area, the nearest specialist mental health unit run by Southern Health is in Parklands Hospital, Basingstoke. It provides six beds for soldiers with a severe mental illness, and complements the armed forces’ own community mental health services in the area.

The new contract will include innovations, including a mental health app specially developed to offer mental health information to personnel. This is awaited.

Little research has been done in the mental health of armed forces personnel in the UK as compared to other countries like the United States.


But various UK researches have showed that there is a link between mental health problems and active service:

  • 22% of the sample from Falklands War veterans showed that they have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This is of higher percentage when compared to the general population.
  • The troops deployed in the first Gulf War back in 1991 suffered higher levels of psychological fatigue and distress than the general population even after many years had passed since the war ended.
  • The body handlers in the Gulf War showed 50% of them experienced PTSD symptoms.
  • The psychological difficulties gathered in a small sample of British troops were shown to have increased by 50% even after their return from active duty in the conflict from Northern Ireland.
  • 1,897 British service personnel were treated for problems regarding their mental health because of their deployment to Iraq. The study was made on June 2006.
It is good to see that a local trust has won one of these contracts considering the close association with the forces on the South Coast.

Patricia Wakeford

Associate

Clinical negligence team

 

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