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Burnham urges more support for veterans with PTSD

2009 Tachwedd 6 9:34 AM

Eleanor Burnham, Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for North Wales has once again called on the Welsh Health Minister, Edwina Hart, to undertake an urgent review into the provision of mental health treatment for veterans.

Eleanor, Welsh Lib Dem Spokesperson for Communities in the Assembly said:

" Significant numbers of Welsh ex-servicemen and -women are suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Instead of finding the support and treatment they deserve many find themselves in the criminal justice system or with a substance misuse problem.

"For many, symptoms of the illness might not surface for years after the event and it is absolutely essential that we take urgent steps to make sure that PTSD is diagnosed and treated properly.

"In May of this year the Scottish government committed £2.8 million to Combat Stress for the treatment of PTSD in veterans over the next two years. In contrast, the Welsh Assembly Government will give Combat Stress just £15,345 this year.

"Much more should be done to assess not only the needs of PTSD sufferers but also the availability of treatment.

"I shall continue to put pressure on the Health Minister to address this woeful deficit in mental health provision."

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