War is bad, undoubtedly, and the aftermath of the bloodshed, devastation and destruction is difficult to bear for everyone. No wonder then that the bravery of army soldiers is greatly lauded as they experience such mayhem and go on with their daily lives. But at the end of the day, they are like any other human being. This makes them vulnerable for serious mental disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Hence, authorities took stock of the situation and decided to provide adequate mental health facilities and recovery program for the armed force personnel.
However, a major mental health unit for armed forces personnel was condemned in a report, which called it unsatisfactory and unsafe. According to this report of October 2015, the target set for the department at the mental health unit at Tidworth in Wiltshire was “unsustainable and dangerous”. This meant that the clinical workload that was expected from the staff was unsustainable, putting patients at risk.
The report highlighted the heavy work load that falls on the shoulders of army men, in addition to hardships and trauma faced during a war. Such pressures put the personnel at a higher risk of developing mental disorders. The added disadvantage of poor mental healthcare structures are further forcing soldiers to drop out from the facilities. “Burnout was evident in many staff members including anxiety, low mood, insomnia, withdrawal, apathy and a pervasive sense of helplessness and lack of control,” added the report.
Need for mental healthcare for armed forces
The soldiers fighting a war are probably the only ones who understand the true impact it can have on a human brain. Witnessing the pools of blood, loss of lives and extreme level of violence further triggers the development of mental disorders like PTSD.
PTSD, characterized by fear and restlessness, frequent flashbacks of traumatic events, sleeplessness along with physical pain, often leads to a sense of isolation and alienation among the veterans and soldiers. As a result, they feel uncomfortable, restless and threatened, even when surrounded by their families and loved ones. The disorder not only deteriorates their quality of life but also leads to physical changes, gut-twisting anxiety, emotional numbness or surges of uncontrollable aggression. The condition tends to worsen with time, possibly leading to suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Amid the reassurance of providing better mental health care for the soldiers, the following points should be taken care of:
- Easy access: It is a vital aspect as the entire mission would fail if the mental health care remains inaccessible. Arrangements, such as orientation programs addressing the queries concerning mental health, can further encourage the soldiers enroll in the unit’s mental health care.
- Coordinated support: Providing local resource such as soldier’s services office on campus, the local VA, and student-run veterans’ groups can also become the point of information for those who are looking for help for their mental health issues.
- Enabling facilities: The mental health care should have sufficient staff and space to accommodate all the soldiers dropping in for their mental health concern. Every soldier should be able to get appropriate time, attention and space to recover from his/her condition.
Road to recovery
Whether or not concrete steps have been taken by the authorities to address the concerns and provide proper mental health care facilities for the soldiers, it also becomes the responsibility of every individual to ensure proper recovery by seeking medical treatment for any mental condition. Timely intervention is of prime importance.
Hence, know someone who is suffering from a mental illness and needs help, the Florida Mental Health Helpline would be happy to help with getting in touch with mental health rehab center in Florida. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 846-5588 or chat online with our experts to get to know about the best mental health rehab in your vicinity.