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Seven in Ten UK Veterans Grappling with Mental Health Challenges

Published: 05/07/2024

Our recent research shines a spotlight on the mental health problems affecting UK veterans. Between April and May 2024, we commissioned a OnePoll survey of 1,000 UK veterans. This found that nearly seven in ten (65%) veterans deal with mental health challenges every day, and half (48%) have been diagnosed with conditions like anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The findings of this research have received extensive media coverage, featuring in The Mirror, Daily Star, The Sun, The Express, and on Talk TV.

The Toll on Daily Life

The impact of these challenges is significant:

  • Over a quarter (26%) struggle to leave their homes.
  • 25% have difficulty finding work.
  • Nearly a quarter (24%) find it hard to maintain relationships.
  • Half (50%) have experienced personality changes due to mental health issues.

Lack of Support

Many veterans feel abandoned by the healthcare system:

  • Over a quarter (26%) feel unsupported by their doctors.
  • More than half (54%) don’t have a suitable treatment plan.
  • A significant portion (42%) feel hopeless about finding help.

Turning to Alternatives

Considering these challenges, many veterans are seeking alternatives. Three in five (60%) prefer to avoid prescription medications, highlighting a need for alternative solutions.

Dr Simon Erridge, Research Director at Curaleaf Clinic, highlights the importance of finding solutions for veterans struggling with mental health conditions, especially on Armed Forces Day. He notes:

“At Curaleaf Clinic, we have a growing number of military veterans who suffer from serious conditions such as PTSD, anxiety and depression. The lack of adequate support for these individuals is one of the many reasons we’re dedicated to researching the effects of medical cannabis on mental health, in the hope that we can offer support to those suffering with chronic conditions, as well as inform the guidance and regulations to allow medical cannabis to be prescribed on the NHS for appropriate patients in the future.”

A Veteran’s Story

Our patient Charlie, a former Royal Air Force member, shared his experience

“After being injured in Iraq and trapped in a cycle of debilitating opioid use, my life was a nightmare of pain, hallucinations, and immobility.

“The opioids destroyed my mind and enhanced my PTSD.”

“Since switching to medical cannabis, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders – I have found my pain and PTSD has improved.

“I now have a semblance of normal life – now, I can walk around, function, and control my anger and conflict issues. I’ve been given a lifeline.”

Hope for Veterans

In recognition of their service and to help more eligible veterans access treatment, Curaleaf Clinic offers free of charge appointments to veterans across the UK, allowing veterans to access the support and medical care they deserve.

If you or someone you know is a UK veteran struggling with mental health, you can learn more about our Veterans Access Scheme here.

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