Mental health illnesses rise in troops
Nearly 4,000 servicemen and women were diagnosed with mental health disorders last year according to the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
That figure is equal to approximately two percent of the total armed forces in Britain and cases of mental illness were seen in the Army (2,533), the RAF (965), the Navy (366) and the Royal Marines (58).
It is the thought the rise from 3,103 reported cases in 2009 to 3,942 cases in 2010 can be attributed to more people coming forward and a change in the way information for the annual summary of mental health is collected.
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There were 249 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reported after deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and it was found that troops that had been to Afghanistan were six times more likely to suffer from PTSD.
The MOD reported that those most likely to suffer with mental health problems were personnel in lower ranks, younger members and women, who were twice as likely to experience mental health problems as their male colleagues.
In terms of medical discharges, there were 164 made in 2009 and the figures for 2010 will be released later this year.
The MOD says that the mental health of service men and women is a top priority and a spokesperson has been quoted as saying:
“We recognise that the stigma associated with mental health disorders can be a huge barrier to personnel coming forward for treatment and addressing it is every commander's responsibility.”
“The data we have does suggest that more Armed Forces personnel are coming forward, which is vital so that diagnosis and treatment can be performed by fully trained and accredited mental health personnel,” they added.
Meanwhile, similar results have been seen among US troops. A Pentagon survey of more than 1,200 American service personnel found that they were dealing with increased stress levels and lower morale than a few years ago.
The study was based on interviews with troops that had served in Afghanistan and the results were compared with the results of similar studies in 2005 and 2009.
However, the report did find that soldiers and Marines reported an increased resilience along with greater access to mental health services and treatments.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”