In: AWH, Industrial Disease, Mental Health Law

World Mental Health Day is taking place this Sunday, on the 10th October. AWH Solicitors want to take this as an opportunity to raise mental health awareness and highlight the importance of tackling military PTSD – something that is prevalent in those that have served in the armed forces. Our specialist solicitor Stacy Pimlott has commented that, ‘mental health, especially at the moment, is at the forefront of issues that needs to be tackled. It is imperative that support mechanisms are put in place both whilst an active member of the Military and also when they have left. Support is key to helping someone who is suffering. We have to remember that most suffer in silence and awareness of how to assist and support anyone affected is paramount.’

What is World Mental Health Day?

World Mental Health Day is designed to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. Every year there is a different theme, this year’s being ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World.’ Living with a mental illness is something that millions have to suffer with everyday and talking about mental health is more important than ever. Mental illness isn’t something that people should have to suffer through alone, and they should be able to reach out to their friends and family.

What is military PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), also referred to as shell shock or combat stress, occurs after you experience severe trauma or goes through a life-threatening event. It is pretty normal for your body and mind to be in shock after an event like that, but this normal response becomes PTSD when your nervous system gets ‘stuck’. Your nervous system has two automatic or reflexive ways of responding to stressful events:

Mobilisation, or fight-or-flight, occurs when you need to defend yourself or survive the danger of a combat situation. Your heart pounds faster, your blood pressure will rise, and your muscles tighten, increasing your strength and reaction speed. Once the danger has passed, your nervous system calms your body, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, and changing back to its normal balance.

Immobilisation occurs when you have experienced too much stress in a situation and even though the danger has passed, you find yourself stuck. Your nervous system is unable to return to its normal state of balance and you’re unable to move on from the event. This is what is known as PTSD.

Some of the most common symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Extreme avoidance of things that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Negative changes in your thoughts and mood
  • Being on guard all the time and very emotionally reactive
  • Recurrent, intrusive reminders of the traumatic event

The world federation for mental health recommend that people living with PTSD use some tried-and-tested tools to try and improve and return to good mental health. These include:

  • Exercising
  • Self-regulate your nervous system
  • Connect with others

No one should have to suffer through any form of mental illness alone, and world mental health day is the perfect opportunity to bring these issues up with anyone who you think may be struggling.

If you have been in the military and have suffered from PTSD, then you may be eligible for compensation. Our specialist solicitors can help you to get the compensation that you deserve if you have suffered.

Get the conversation about mental health started today and support those who may be struggling.

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