For the majority service in the Armed Forces is beneficial and, in the main, military veterans have successful lives. However, a minority have a bleaker outlook as a result of on-going ill health and social exclusion. Whilst the media focuses on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, in reality the most frequent mental health problems for veterans are alcohol problems, depression and anxiety disorders. These difficulties are difficult to manage as veterans, particularly those who are unwell, demonstrate a reticence to seek help for mental health problems. Another issue is that many veterans are now reserve personnel who have been found to be at greater risk of developing mental health problems than their regular counterparts. Steps to improve the knowledge and expertise of primary care services about veteran’s mental health issues and increasing the availability of treatment options are important and are underway.
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