Fifty troops commit suicide after Iraq and Afghanistan tours


The Telegraph

More than 50 members of the UK Armed Forces have committed suicide since serving in the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, figures suggest.

In an indication of the toll the conflicts may have taken on the mental health of servicemen and women, the data reveals that eight took their own lives during a deployment itself, while the other 42 killed themselves at some point afterwards.

More than half of those who took their lives later – 23 of the 42 – committed suicide on Ministry of Defence (MoD) property, mainly in the UK.

The figures, released to the Daily Telegraph under Freedom of Information legislation, show that six British forces members killed themselves while serving in Iraq and two did so while serving in Afghanistan.

The Mental Health Foundation said young veterans were twice as likely to take their own life as their peers, and argued more help could be provided to them.

Simon Lawton-Smith, head of policy, said: “Combat puts great pressures on our fighting forces and this can have significant psychological impact both at the time and in the days, months and years following.

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