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March on Stress News

Human cost of war measured by military charity

Added on the 23rd September 2014

The charity Help for Heroes has put the total number of people who might suffer as a result of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, either physically or mentally, at 74,991.

They used official figures from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and academic research to reach this figure.

A study carried out by King's College London in 2012 found that 27.2% of those deployed to the front line had symptoms of common mental disorders.

Therefore, of the 220,560 British service personnel who've served in either Iraq and Afghanistan, it's been assumed that 59,992 have or could have mental health issues. Help for Heroes also added in additional numbers, based upon information published by the MoD, to account for individuals who were discharged for mental or physical health conditions.

Professor Neil Greenberg, Director of March on Stress, said: “These figures provide a good starting point for more detailed academic work, however the total human cost of the wars has likely not yet been fully realised.

“Most individuals who suffer from mental health problems are unlikely to seek care, in part because they may not recognise symptoms or because of the stigma attached.

"Many members of the March on Stress team have a military background and we wholeheartedly support the aims of Help for Heroes to ensure that the healthcare needs of those who have served their country are fully met."

To read the full BBC article please, click here.

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