A north-east PTSD sufferer has urged the Government to do more to fight the condition in military ranks after it emerged 61 veterans have committed suicide in the last year.
Steve Beedie, from Banff, served in the Royal Signal Corps for nine years, and was deployed to Kosovo and Iraq.
The former radio-relay operator said he received “no support” from the Government or British Army after he was medically discharged with “adjustment disorder”.
A doctor later diagnosed Steve with PTSD, a condition that caused several suicide attempts.
Referring to the number of suicides in the last 12 months, Steve said the current provisions for former soldiers with PTSD are not enough.
He said: “These aren’t just statistics. They’re not just numbers on a sheet of paper, they’re John, Andy, Jonathan. They’re sons, brothers, fathers.
“Someone raised them, they brought them up, changed their nappies, took them to school. They’re people.”
Late last year it was announced the Government would now monitor the number of veterans that committed suicide.
Steve said that was too little too late.
“Sixty-one soldiers have killed themselves and the last one was in the same regiment as me,” he said.
“It’s taken until the number 60 for the Government to say they’re going to record the number of suicides.
“Not ‘we’re going to help them’.
“It’s just not enough. It’s an insult.
“Can you imagine if 61 MPs took their own lives?”
Steve, who joined the forces in 1997, aged 16, claims that following his discharge from the army, on medical grounds, he has not received any sort of official support.
He said: “There has been absolutely, unequivocally zero support. The only people who helped were SSAFA and Poppyscotland, charities run by veterans, for veterans.”
Steve insists there is still “so much” needs done, and said officials across the UK are going to have to step up to end the crisis.
He said: “There are some difficult conversations that are going to have to be had.
“There’s no true leadership in Government any more.
“Brexit? I don’t care about Brexit. I want honour.”
It was during a deployment to wartorn Kosovo at the age of 18 that Steve saw terrible sights which haunt him to this day.
He said: “The hatred was unbelievable – it was ethnic cleansing. We saw some horrendous stuff.
“I watched towns that were being burned down.
“I watched a town, not far off the size of Banff, be burned to the ground systematically.”
A Government spokesman said: “We take the mental wellbeing of our serving and former personnel extremely seriously, and we urge anyone struggling to come forward and access the care they deserve.
“The MoD has increased spending on mental health to £22 million a year, and has set up a 24/7 mental health helpline for serving personnel, so there is always somewhere to turn in times of crisis.
“Veterans can access specialist medical care from the NHS and find a wide range of service charities through the Veterans’ Gateway – the first port of call for veterans in need of support.”