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HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Mental Health Difficulties and Help-Seeking Beliefs within a Sample of Female Partners of UK Veterans Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

August, 2016
Article:

This study surveys the mental health needs and barriers to help-seeking within a sample of partners of UK veterans who had been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Abstract

In the UK there is a paucity of research about the needs of partners who are supporting ex-service personnel with mental health difficulties. In this study, we surveyed the mental health needs and barriers to help-seeking within a sample of partners of UK veterans who had been diagnosed with PTSD. Our sample included 100 participants. Forty-five percent met criteria for alcohol problems, 39% for depression, 37% for generalised anxiety disorder and 17% for symptoms of probable PTSD. Participants who met case criteria for depression, anxiety and problems with alcohol were more likely to report a greater number of help-seeking barriers. Participants who were experiencing mental health difficulties were more likely to endorse barriers connected to stigmatising beliefs than those associated with practical issues around accessing mental health services. The evidence presented suggests there may be a considerable burden of mental illness within this population. It would seem prudent to conduct further work to understand how best to address this clinical need.

Full Reference

Busuttil, W., Murphy, D., Palmer, E., (2016) Mental Health Difficulties and Help-Seeking Beliefs within a Sample of Female Partners of UK Veterans Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2016, 5, 68; doi:10.3390jcm5080068

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