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This week is Mental Health Awareness week in the UK.

It is no secret to many of us that we live in stressful and uncertain times but statistics reveal that an astonishing 1 in 4 of the UK population will suffer a mental health problem in any given year.

These problems can be some of the most disabling illnesses we can suffer. The more common types of mental health disorders are depression and anxiety. Less common in the population as a whole but relatively common amongst our Armed Forces personnel are severe conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (‘PTSD’).

PTSD is an anxiety disorder resulting from exposure to traumatic, stressful, frightening or distressing events.

PTSD often strikes members of the Armed Forces, due to their traumatic experiences both in combat and on exercise, but it can affect anyone. The condition, however, was first recognised in war veterans and was previously known as ‘shell shock’.

PTSD and other similar disorders often have very significant adverse mental and physical impacts on the sufferer, their lives and careers and those of their loved ones.

Often many years can pass after a traumatic experience, before someone starts to suffer or be diagnosed with PTSD, or other psychological or psychiatric disorders. This means that it is likely that many in the Armed Forces who have served in theatres such as Iraq or Afghanistan may yet still be diagnosed with PTSD or similar.

The symptoms and consequences of PTSD can vary, but typically include some or all of the following:

  • ‘Re-experiencing’ the traumatic events including flashbacks, nightmares, repetitive or distressing images and sensations
  • Avoidance and emotional numbing, leading to feelings of detachment from loved ones and friends , and isolation
  • Marital/ relationship issues/ breakdown
  • Hyper arousal (feeling ‘on edge’), often leading to anger (management) issues, and issues with sleeping and/or concentration
  • Other mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, paranoia etc.
  • Substance misuse including alcohol misuse

Gorvins have recently launched a new department dealing exclusively with military injury and serious sports injury claims headed up by Gary Boyd. Gary has a many years of experience of acting for military personnel who have suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or other psychological and psychiatric injuries.

Gary said: “Our servicemen and women deserve the greatest respect. In recent years, due to increased involvement in campaigns abroad, many have suffered while gallantly serving this country. As a lawyer, I strongly believe it is vital that the Armed Services Covenant is met. I am therefore very pleased to note steps being taken to address the significant problem of mental health issues within Armed Forces Personnel and Veterans such as through the charity, Combat Stress, through the Armed Forces hubs, and via the Veterans’ Mental Health Complex Treatment Service, launched by the NHS on 1 April, 2018”.

If you or a loved one have suffered any such problems , perhaps as a result of military service , we at Gorvins have the knowledge, experience and contacts to help you not only maximise your compensation but also to facilitate rehabilitation and financial advice .

If you would like to discuss with Gary any potential claim for yourself or a loved one/friend,please call us on 0161 930 5117 or email gary.boyd@gorvins.com