More British soldiers committed suicide in 2012 than died in Afghanistan
LONDON – A total of 50 serving and veteran British soldiers committed suicide last year, more than were killed fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to figures reported on Sunday.
The Ministry of Defense confirmed that seven serving soldiers killed themselves in 2012 and a further 14 died in suspected suicides, although inquests have not yet been held.
An investigation by the BBC found that at least 29 veterans also took their lives last year. There are no official figures.
A total of 40 British soldiers died in action in Afghanistan in the same period, while serving as part of a decade-long British deployment that reached 9,500 troops at its peak.
Relatives of those who killed themselves told the BBC the military should do more to tackle post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treat it like a physical injury.
One soldier who committed suicide, Dan Collins, had twice survived being shot in Helmand, was blown off his feet by a roadside bomb and then witnessed a close friend killed in front of him.
He was diagnosed with PTSD and given treatment, but after 10 months the army said he had recovered. He was later released back home and on New Year’s Eve 2011, he hanged himself.
“You’ve got units for soldiers that are severely injured and they’re treated. You should have a unit for treating soldiers with PTSD,” said his mother Deana Collins.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said: “Every suicide is a tragedy and our thoughts remain with the families of all those who have sadly taken their own lives.
“Mental health of our personnel and veterans is a top priority for the government, that is why we have committed £7.4 million ($11 million) to ensure there is extensive mental health support in place for everyone who needs it.”
You may be interested
Victorious Champions coach celebrates Costa Rica-style: ‘This is pura vida’Katherine Stanley - May 27, 2018
Costa Rican superstar goalie Keylor Navas has made his mark on the field for Real Madrid, but also on the…
5 questions for Costa Rican artist Rossella MatamorosElizabeth Lang - May 27, 2018
Using art in all its possible expressions has motivated Rossella Matamoros for more than two decades. At home in Costa Rica…
Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas, Real Madrid nab third consecutive Champions titleKatherine Stanley - May 26, 2018
Costa Rica's star goalie, Keylor Navas, continued his historic march through world football as his club team, Real Madrid, won…