KCHCR - Gulf Syndrome

Discussion in 'Royal Naval Reserve (RNR)' started by WarMonger, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. Has anyone had/seen or taken part in the results from the Kings College Health Centre Research programme about the effects of service in the Gulf Region in specific OPTELIC.

    It would appear that whilst our full time colleagues have suffered no significant effects we have not faired very well with regards to issues such as long term illness, fatigue, PTSD

    It might not be a nice topic to discuss by I think its quite important.!!!

    Any views!
     
  2. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    I think I saw something to this effect reported in the Torygraph a few months ago; the thrust of the story was that the Regular forces had an appropriate support network while the Reserves, once demobilised were put straight back into the civilian system with no developed support network and that furthermore the Reserves did not have access to the military medical system (such as it is). I'll do some digging on the Telegraph site and see if I can find the story.
     
  3. As part of new features offered to Reservists we now have open access to DMS.. Defence Medical Services..whatever that is!!

    They have intimated that they will now be doing further research but my concern is for the now and that is/are the reasons behind our higher rates...

    Yes physical fitness may have been an issue..by I think there is a bit more to it than that both prior to mobilisation, during and after!!
     
  4. I was involved in a very comprehensive study about GWVI and the results appeared to suggest (for want of a more technical expression) "A load of shit."
    There was next to no supporting evidence that it even exists.
    Shouldn't worry.
     
  5. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Here it is ..... http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/05/16/wirq116.xml

    Members of the Territorial Army who served in Iraq suffered greater mental health problems than their professional comrades-in-arms, according to new research.

    Scientists concluded that while there is no such thing as "Iraq War Syndrome", reserve forces report much higher levels of psychological difficulties than regular soldiers.

    Reservists were found to be at approximately 25 per cent more risk of suffering common mental health symptoms and service-related fatigue, and 50 per cent more likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    Critics have accused the Government of stretching British forces to the limit with on-going commitments in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Northern Ireland, and of using reservists as a "substitute army" without providing sufficient training and support.

    About 11,500 reservists have served in the Iraq conflict since 2003, accounting for more than one in 10 of the Armed Forces that have so far been deployed.

    Prof Mathew Hotopf led a team from King's College London that questioned more than 10,000 British military personnel on their physical and mental health.

    Prof Hotopf, whose research is published today by The Lancet, said: "We don't think the difference with the reservists is to do with what happens in theatre. Most of them report they found it professionally satisfying, so we think the differences are before they go and when they come back.

    "Several stresses related to deployment might apply particularly to reservists, related to the civilian life they leave behind, such as families and employers not understanding nor supporting their role in the military, and to the military life they join, such as being deployed with unfamiliar units, possibly in roles for which they feel untrained."

    The researchers compared, through a 28-page questionnaire, the physical and mental health of 4,722 members of the Armed Forces who served in the first phase of the 2003 Iraq war with that of 5,550 colleagues who were not deployed.

    They found that reservists who had served in the war were far more likely to report illness than both reservists who were not deployed and regular soldiers. While 26 per cent of deployed reservists reported symptoms such as anxiety, depression and stress, only 16 per cent of those not deployed and 19 per cent of regulars who did serve, did so.

    The proportions who said they had PTSD symptoms were six per cent of reservists who went to Iraq compared with three per cent of reservists who stayed at home and four per cent of professional soldiers who served in the war.

    Liam Fox, the shadow defence secretary, said: "This report confirms what we have been saying, that the MoD is using reserves as a substitute army, but without adequate training to deal with the sort of enemy action they face in Iraq."

    As a result of lessons learned from the Falklands and subsequent conflicts, the military has now put in place a system to monitor troops closely for PTSD.

    Alarmingly high rates of suicide, depression and homelessness in the Parachute Regiment, which saw the toughest combat in the 1982 conflict, was later attributed to their being flown straight home.

    However the Royal Marines, who also experienced fierce fighting, took several weeks to return home by ship during which time they were able to discuss their experiences together.

    Far fewer Marines suffered mental health problems, and as a result the military has now instilled a system called post-operational "decompression" whereby an entire battalion is given additional medical help for a fortnight and given four weeks extra leave.

    Reservist are handed a booklet on PTSD and given a telephone number to call before being sent back into civilian life.

    Toby Elliott, the chief executive of the charity Combat Stress, said he had raised the issue of support for reservists reporting mental health problems with Don Touhig, the then veterans minister, last summer. Of 70 soldiers who have served in the recent Iraq war who have approached the charity for help, about a quarter served with the TA.

    Tom Watson, the new veterans minister, will today announce that reservists demobilised since January 2003 will have access to treatment from Defence Medical Services specialists - currently only available to full-time forces.
     
  6. So what special training for war do regulars do that part timers don't?
    I never had any, did you?
     
  7. I not bothered about Gulf War Syndrome persai....there are plenty of medical conditions in every walk of life that appear to exist with no solid scientific grounding...!

    However my concern is that as we are being intergrated more fully and if powers to be are expecting us to be operational more readily that the issues behind these apparent weaknesses are addressed..!!.

    As stated fitness is now an issue...but there are plenty of other aspects that are not addressed!
     
  8. How do you account for the difference in the figures that whilst regular service personnel did not appear to suffer any increase in effects whether mental or physical that reservists did...!!
     
  9. Support mechanism perhaps? The regulars have the regiment, ship, squadron or whatever, with someone they know who has been through exactly the same stuff to 'talk to' - it isn't the same for the reservist back into his civilian work routine with people who only read about it or saw it on TV.

    Just a thought.
     
  10. Can't vouch for their state of mind in the first place, maybe they went into reserves thinking it was a bit of fun and wouldn't come down to the real stuff, maybe they are happier talking about their mental problems, only they can know that.
    But I am sure the regulars don't get "war" prepardness training any more than a civvy would.
    That's the trouble with statistics though, it's just a portion, maybe all the interviwed reserves had snags anyway, or maybe they are looking for compensation, could be any number of things really.
     
  11.  
  12. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    From the article, it appears that its the post-war period that has more impact, e.g.

    `As a result of lessons learned from the Falklands and subsequent conflicts, the military has now put in place a system to monitor troops closely for PTSD.

    Alarmingly high rates of suicide, depression and homelessness in the Parachute Regiment, which saw the toughest combat in the 1982 conflict, was later attributed to their being flown straight home.

    However the Royal Marines, who also experienced fierce fighting, took several weeks to return home by ship during which time they were able to discuss their experiences together.

    Far fewer Marines suffered mental health problems, and as a result the military has now instilled a system called post-operational "decompression" whereby an entire battalion is given additional medical help for a fortnight and given four weeks extra leave.

    Reservist are handed a booklet on PTSD and given a telephone number to call before being sent back into civilian life.
    `

    There are a number of examples in print of TA being demobilised and going straight back to the their pre-war civvy life with no opportunity for the "post-op decompression". In the RN this decompression will be implicit in a ship's programme - for RNR we get parachuted in, do the job and bugger off home again virtually straight away.
     
  13. well, my decompression consisted of an open forum discussion as a group with an RN POMA wittering on about how unfair it was that us mere civvies had been sent to war, and here he was stuck in pompey!
    I didn't think that was what he was really there to do,I thought (obviously mistakenly) that he was there to discuss our issues with us, all he wanted to do was talk about hown hard done by he felt!. but i did feel quite sorry for him by the time he was finished he was near to tears! (twat). :lol:
     
  14. MM did you have your meeting in a store cupboard..or were you honoured with a proper classroom!
     
  15. better than that mate, we were in some big high ceilinged function room somewhere in nelson. Dont think the venue would have mattered tho, he was still a twat. 8O
     
  16. The Yank warriors that served in Vietnam had a lot of problems too


    Simple reasons were that they all came home fairly quickly and also the Yanks lost the plot in Vietnam.
    The fighting units didn't come home to a cheering flag waving crowd and were all just sent back to the usual barrack life. Mind you the yanks do have a very good Forces aftercare set-up.

    Bad news is that our guys are doing virtually the same--put into a war zone
    fighting and seeing their friends etc killed or maimed stressed out wondering if its their turn next. The people they are fighting for --better said people who's country they are fighting in don't want them there and at the moment their own people don't really see the point of them being there either.
    When they have done the time out there they come home--no big deal
    or welcome home the hero ----just get your civvies on and forget it.


    Fighting for lost causes will always raise doubts.
     
  17. No, us regulars were just trained. Like in basic training and that sort of thing. We were given instruction on how to walk in synchronisation, we were also instructed on how to mark our kit and that was REALLY important at our training depot.
    We were also taught how to fill a form in (duty chit) and how to muster at the sick bay for a yellow fever jab. I even remember some turkey giving me a Tommy gun on a firing range, but all I did was frighten some shite hawks off the range, which eventually scattered all over Cornwall.
    I also remember a bloke called Joe Nolan who said that TAS stood for tiddly and smart and if you ever let the side down, then your fcuked.

    Given the circumstances, then yes, I must admit that I did receive some special training. :eek:
     
  18. I remember the pics in survive to fight that taught you how to have a shit whilst wearing a NBC suit, quality training that. Didn't teach you that you shouldn't "go postal" after you get back though.
    On that note (with yanks killings school kids like it's free), you don't hear about that many ex warriors in the UK doing the rampage bit do you? It is normally the wannabe's, so maybe sending people to war is a good thing?????? Like a pressure relief.
     
  19. What worries me the most and also seems to be a usual thread throughout the RNR, is that no one has been told about the availability of the DMS to RNR. I get loads of rubbish on my email about how the Wardroom requires stewards and how yet another officer has changed drill nights, but not a whisper of something that may be of importance to those that have actually been called up. Surely the number of us isn't so great that someone could have sent out a letter to all those affected.
     

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