Why the Armed Forces Community?
There are many misconceptions about mental health problems within the Armed Forces community. For example, due to the nature of Service life, the media has tended to focus on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when, in fact, research indicates that other problems (such as alcohol misuse) are much more of a problem.
Where PTSD is an issue, however, the impact can be very serious and often appears alongside a wide range of other problems, including substance misuse and depression. Furthermore, it seems to take a long time for veterans to seek help for PTSD: on average, it takes 13 years from Service discharge before an individual first makes contact.
This may be symptomatic of the likelihood that the stigma associated with mental health problems is even more of a problem for Service personnel and veterans than it is for the general public.