Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
9 May 2017, 11:25
Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, this soldier's experience of leaving the army with PTSD shows the gulf between mental health and physical injury treatment.
Kenny told Darren Adam that his PTSD was triggered by a traumatic incident he witnessed while on tour in Afghanistan in 2009, causing him to suffer from flashbacks, night terrors and changing how he behaved with his family.
Darren Adam suggested that the military’s attitude towards mental health problems hadn’t really changed in a hundred years.
Kenny agreed, saying he was given little to no help to deal with this and adjust to civilian life.
“Basically after our tour of Afghanistan it was two days in Cyprus for what they call decompression where we were expected to forget it all and changed from a combat role, where I was infantry, where I was on the front line and 30 minutes away from the enemy, to go back to the UK and go straight back on to civvy street, to go and stand amongst normal people on the street.”
The care given to soldiers with physical injuries has improved markedly in recent years while mental health care has languished. Kenny believes there is a basic reason behind this.
“It’s because it’s a visible injury, you can actually see that injury. You can’t do that with PTSD.”
He also suggested that the problem is much wider than people appreciate, but is kept below the surface because of prevailing negative attitudes.
“There’s more of it in the army that actually goes on than is brought to the surface.
“It is kind of frowned upon. I served with my brother, his attitude was to man up and get on with it.”
Watch the whole interview with Kenny below: