Centre reports on veterans’ mental health and prison

Armed forces’ veterans face a range of mental health problems including depression and alcohol misuse, but are still less likely to go to prison than the general population, according to a report by the Centre for Mental Health.

The report, “Across the wire”, reviewed the evidence about the mental health of armed forces veterans and what links this had with offending and imprisonment. It found that veterans faced many mental health problems but only a small minority had post-traumatic stress disorder.

The most vulnerable group was those who leave the services early, particularly those who leave within four years. Veterans were less likely to be in prison than men of a similar age in the general population.

“It is also unclear to what extent mental ill health and offending result from a person’s life experience before joining the armed forces and what influence their military experience has on their chances of becoming unwell or offending,” it concluded.

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