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Plaid Leader Calls for More Assistance for PTSD Sufferers

18/06/2022

More support should be provided for sufferers of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood has said. 

The Plaid leader was speaking after meeting with a group who come together every week in Clydach Vale in the Rhondda to provide support for each other.  The group includes former soldiers and emergency service workers. 

 

One of the most common complaints from members of the group was a lack of understanding about the debilitating effects of PTSD from staff at the Department of Work and Pensions when rejecting the benefit applications of former soldiers. 

 

They also said there was anecdotal evidence of former soldiers waiting far too long for treatment once they had been diagnosed with the condition. 

 

South Wales Central AM Leanne Wood said:  "I am familiar with PTSD having previously worked as a Probation Officer.  It's not an uncommon disorder among people within the criminal justice system. 

 

"I have raised the issue of better support from the MOD for former soldiers suffering with the condition in the Senedd.  Plaid Cymru has also been at the fore of highlighting the difficulties former soldiers face in adjusting to life away from the combat zone, with many ending up homeless or in prison.

 

"Hearing the real stories of the PTSD sufferers at the Clydach group brought the condition alive. People go through hell with PTSD, those around them can too. 

 

"The group painted a bleak picture when talking of the lack of support for people leaving the army.  PTSD sufferers can face long waiting times, long distances to travel if they can get treatment, little understanding of the condition within mainstream health services and little empathy from an uncaring benefits system.

 

"It has been predicted that PTSD is going to become an increasing problem for the health service and for society to deal with as more and more soldiers with experience of fierce combat in Afghanistan leave the army to return to civilian life."

 

Ms Wood added: "I reiterate my call for the MOD to take some responsibility for ex-service personnel in Wales by sharing the financial burden for treating them for PTSD with the Welsh Government."