Norman Lamb – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Norman Lamb on 2016-04-20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the processes and policies in place proactively to identify symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in service-people returning from war zones.

Mark Lancaster

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a range of processes in place to look after the mental health of personnel both on, and returning, from operations, including Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) and the post-operational decompression period. Personnel are given briefings on the possible psychological after-effects of deployment, as well as advice on seeking help and treatment if required. Efforts are being made to reduce the stigma that can be attached to all mental health issues, including PTSD, and this may be encouraging more Service personnel to come forward.

The MOD has also been working closely with King’s College London on a two-year study, funded by the US Department of Defense, looking at a possible post-operational mental health screening tool. The study was undertaken using UK Armed Forces personnel, and the results are currently being analysed. When published, the study will help us to understand the efficacy of screening; to consider whether such a tool would benefit the UK Armed Forces; and provide evidence on which the US can gauge its current policy on mental health screening.