Double PTSD in defence force personnel in Middle East

The Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) Health Study, released by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) yesterday, surveyed 3000 ADF members deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq from June 2010 to June 2012 in the prospective health study.

It showed that psychological distress increased from 2.5% pre-deployment to 4.8% post-deployment, PTSD increased from 0.1% to 1.9%, alcohol disorders increased from 1.0% to 2.5%, and suicidal ideation increased from 0.7% to 1.6%.

However, hypertension only increased from 1.1% to 1.6% post-deployment, and COPD from 4% to 4.5%.

Defence force General David Hurley said they had been helping people to deal with the mental health effects of operational service for a number of years and would continue to do so when the majority of ADF personnel redeploy from Afghanistan later this year.

“The studies showed that ADF members who have been deployed on operations in the Middle East are generally healthy, both