A FORMER British army soldier from Hereford is calling on mental health bosses to do more to tackle post traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs) affecting county residents.

Chris Sharpe, 37, served in the army for 11 years but was diagnosed with PTSD following his second tour of Afghanistan.

Mr Sharpe who joined the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment which later formed part of the Rifles says 2gether NHS Foundation Trust does not have the funds, skills and experience to treat people suffering from PTSD.

He said: “Despite having been on the Stonebow ward six times, they couldn’t help me when I was discharged two Mondays ago.

“It is not just ex-servicemen that are affected. Anyone can have PTSD. But I feel failed as a serviceman because they don’t have the treatment resources and experience within the trust which I think is shocking.”

Mr Sharpe said he felt there was a ‘complete lack of understanding’ surrounding PTSD in the county.

“My doctor likened my hypervigilance to going to a job interview. With a job interview if it goes bad you don’t get the job but my hypervigilance is from being on patrol. In Afghanistan the dangers are really there,” he said.

Mr Sharpe said he was once advised by his doctor that if they discharged him he would be homeless and Herefordshire Council could help him.

He said: “I was kicked off the ward with no support. The council have been amazing. From a housing point of view, they have been absolutely brilliant.

“But the system is failing. Every piece of positive help I have received is because I have sought it. I’m left to do everything and I’m the patient. I’m ill.”

Mr Sharpe also feels there’s a missed opportunity to learn from mental health problems affecting residents and to develop new methods of dealing with them.

A trust spokesperson said there are evidence-based treatment options for PTSD patients.

“For some individuals with more complex needs, we can refer to a NHS Transition Intervention and Liaison Service. This team operates on a regional basis and provides outreach services, working in alongside the local services we provide for veterans with PTSD living in the county.

“We also work with Combat Stress and armed forces charities to offer support and provide these links though our Mental Health Veterans Support Worker. We are engaged with other NHS specialist providers and refer to them when appropriate. We cannot comment in detail on individual cases, but would be happy to meet privately with Mr Sharpe.”