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Mental health of regular and reserve military veterans

  • Amy C. Iversen and Neil Greenberg

Summary

The psychiatric problems of combat returnees are a topical and important issue given the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the media prominence afforded to post-traumatic stress disorder, the most common disorders in the UK armed forces post-deployment are depression, alcohol misuse and anxiety disorders. Although the majority of service personnel do well after leaving military life, a minority who leave with psychiatric problems appear to be at risk of social exclusion and ongoing ill health. Reserve veterans are at greater risk as they do not have access to the usual support networks of the regular military. Steps to improve the knowledge and expertise of primary care services about veterans' mental health issues and increasing the availability of treatment options are important and are underway.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Dr Amy C. Iversen, 1 King's Centre for Military Health Research, Department of Psychological Medicine, Cutcombe Road, London SE5 9RJ, UK. Email: A.Iversen@iop.kcl.ac.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of Interest

A.I. is a civilian researcher whose salary is paid by a grant from the Ministry of Defence (MOD). N.G. is a full-time active service medical officer who has been seconded to King's College Centre for Military Health Research as a liaison officer. The authors have not been directed in any way by the MOD in relation to this article.

Footnotes

References

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Mental health of regular and reserve military veterans

  • Amy C. Iversen and Neil Greenberg
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