Across the wire: veterans, mental health and vulnerability

Centre for Mental Health
Publication year:
20p., bibliog.
Place of publication:

This paper explores what is known from the published literature about the mental health of people who have served in the armed forces, about the links between mental health and alcohol use in service personnel, and about veterans in the criminal justice system. There appears to be a specific group of people whose needs are not met fully on discharge. This group mainly consists of single young men, with difficulties in adjusting to change, poor social skills and limited basic education, who leave the services early. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is not the most common mental health problem experienced by veterans. Depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse are far more prevalent, especially among young men leaving the services early. Veterans are less likely to go to prison than the general population. They are reported to comprise approximately 3.5% of the total prison population, which is about 20% fewer veterans in prison compared with a similarly matched non-veteran population. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations.

Subject terms:
mental health problems, offenders, post traumatic stress disorder, prisoners, alcohol misuse, anxiety, armed forces personnel, criminal justice, depression;
Content type:
research review
United Kingdom
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