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Mental Health: Service Personnel

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research and modelling his Department is undertaking of future mental health outcomes for personnel deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq; what assessment he has made of the risk of these personnel developing mental health conditions; and if he will make a statement. (108874)

[holding answer 13 December 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 18 December 2006, Official Report, columns 1481-83W.

With reference to the much larger Kings College Mental Health Research study, the MOD’s Veterans Policy Unit has extended the health surveillance study that was launched to look at the physical and psychological outcomes of Op. Telic. This will now also monitor a range of physical and psychological outcomes of Op. Herrick. Data collection will commence in 2007, with results anticipated in 2008.

Additionally, the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health (ACDMH) has been invited to run a study examining the effectiveness of pre- and post- deployment mental health briefings on the mental health of British forces personnel before, during and after deployment to Afghanistan (Op. Herrick). This study will be run between September 2007 and April 2008, with results anticipated in mid-2008.