Returning soldiers cost £100m a year to adapt


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The Independent Online

The problems of ex-servicemen and women adapting to civilian life is costing taxpayers and charities more than £100m a year, according to a new report.

The study by the Forces in Mind Trust, which campaigns to help former military personnel cope with the change to civilian life, said “poor transition” took its toll in alcohol abuse, mental illness and family breakdown.

It estimates the cost to the UK in 2012 – when 19,950 personnel left the forces – was £113.8m, with the figure set to rise to £122m in the current year as the number of leavers rises under the armed forces redundancy programme.

Alcohol misuse had the biggest effect, costing £35m in 2012, followed by mental health issues at £26m, unemployment at £21m and family breakdown at £16m.

Making the change could be eased, the study said, if more was done to ensure personnel had the appropriate skills and qualifications to flourish outside the military.