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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

‘Goodbye and Good Luck’: The Mental Health Needs and Treatment Experiences of British Ex-service Personnel

May, 2005
Article:

This study looks in depth at veterans who are at risk of mental health problems. It describes the frequency and associations of common mental health disorders, as well as exploring help-seeking behaviours.

Abstract

Little is known about the psychological health or treatment experiences of those who have left the British armed forces. The aim of this research is to describe the frequency and associations of common mental disorders, associations of common mental disorders, and help-seeking behaviours, in a representative sample of UK veterans at high risk of mental health problems. The response rate to the survey carried out was 64%; 44% of these had a psychiatric diagnosis, most commonly depression. Those with a diagnosis were more likely to be of lower rank and divorced or separated. Just over half of those with self-reported mental health problems were currently seeking help, most from their general practitioners. Most help-seekers received treatment, usually medication; 28% were in touch with a service charity and 4% were receiving cognitive behavioural therapy. Depression is more common than post-traumatic stress disorder in UK ex-service personnel. Only about half of those who have a diagnosis are seeking help currently and few see specialists.

Full Reference

Iversen et al., 2005. "'Goodbye and Good Luck': The Mental Health Needs and Treatment Experiences of British Ex-service Personnel", British Journal of Psychiatry, 186 (6), 480-486.

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