UK soldier and veteran suicides ‘outstrip Afghan deaths’

UK soldier and veteran suicides ‘outstrip Afghan deaths’“, BBC, 14 July 2013

More British soldiers and veterans took their own lives in 2012 than died fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan over the same period.

BBC Panorama learned that 21 serving soldiers killed themselves last year, along with 29 veterans.

The Afghanistan death toll was 44, of whom 40 died in action. …

Seven serving soldiers have been confirmed as having killed themselves last year, and inquests are pending for a further 14 deaths where suicide is suspected.

The British government, unlike its American counterpart, does not record the suicide rate among ex-soldiers.

But Panorama has independently established that at least 29 veterans took their own lives in 2012. …

The MoD said it was not prepared to talk about individual cases but has committed £7.4m to ensure there is extensive mental health support in place for everyone who needs it.

It said 134,780 soldiers have been deployed to Afghanistan since 2001.

Number of soldiers with initial diagnosis of PTSD who served in Afghanistan

  • 2009 – 108
  • 2010 – 180
  • 2011 – 183
  • 2012 – 231

Source: Ministry of Defence

The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire honours the military casualties of every conflict since WWII.

The names of soldiers who killed themselves in Afghanistan are engraved on the wall but those who took their own lives after returning home are not mentioned.

Read the full article here.