Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | April 3, 2013

Continued mental health care is a right for retired members of the Armed Forces

A heroic magistrate has declared it is a right for former members of Colombia’s Armed Forces to receive continued mental health care.

The statement came about in the case of soldier Sergio Alonso Palencia Sandoval in which Magistrate María Victoria Calle declared, “the right to continued mental health services must be completely protected for those who’ve retired from the Armed Forces but continue to suffer” from post traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD.

In 2008, Sergio Alonso was hurt when an explosive left behind in abandoned FARC camp in Cauca detonated near him. He was hospitalized, and that was when he was first diagnosed with PTSD with aggravated anxiety and depression. Sergio Alonso has retired and currently cannot afford private treatment.

Untreated PTSD can cause sleeplessness, fear, nervousness, anger, aggressiveness, depression, flashbacks, alcohol and substance abuse, suicide, and domestic and sexual violence.

Recommended:

Mental Health and Conflicts: Conceptual Framework and Approaches.

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