On Monday I watched a BBC documentary that investigated the number of suicides among serving and veteran UK soldiers in 2012. Its main finding: last year, 21 serving soldiers and 29 veterans killed themselves. In Afghanistan, the number of UK deaths was 44.
The Panorama documentary points to a lack of support for soldiers suffering from PTSD from the Ministry of Defence–an illness that can often have a long incubating period (of even up to a decade).
Unlike the U.S., the British government does not record the suicide rate among ex-soldiers. The number of PTSD sufferers has more than doubled in the past three years among those that served in Afghanistan.
It’s a tragic reminder of the lives and worlds that exist beyond the carefully screened numbers of governments.