Soldier pal of Prince Harry found dead after complaining about Army’s ‘useless’ PTSD care
A DECORATED soldier who served alongside Prince Harry in Afghanistan has been found dead after complaining to Army colleagues about the treatment he was receiving for a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Warrant Officer Nathan Hunt served in a highly dangerous role identifying roadside bombs as elite forces conducted ambush missions on the Taliban.
After the nerve-racking tour in 2008, WO Hunt was awarded a Mention in Dispatches for his courage and professionalism.
However, WO Hunt was later diagnosed with a combat stress condition caused by his frontline experiences.
It is understood that Prince Harry has written a private letter of condolence to WO Hunt’s family, according to reports citing Buckingham Palace.
The royal has repeatedly called for improved mental healthcare for troops and last year launched a £2million project to help traumatised veterans.
However, WO Hunt’s former colleagues have accused the Ministry of Defence of letting the decorated soldier down.
One said: “Nathan was a cracking bloke who saved a lot of lives in Afghanistan. He fought the demons in his head for years but it seems they won in the end.
“He said recently at a get-together for veterans that the care he was receiving for his condition was useless and he was thinking of getting out of the Army.
“How many troops are going to die back in UK from the mental scars of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq before the MoD takes this problem seriously?’
When asked whether WO Hunt, who had been serving as an Army instructor, had lodged an official complaint about his treatment, the MoD said it did not comment on individual cases
An Army spokesman added: “Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. The circumstances of his death are currently being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment further.
“We take the mental health of the Armed Forces community extremely seriously and work tirelessly to ensure troops and veterans receive the care they deserve.”
An inquest into the exact circumstances of WO Hunt’s death is expected to open later this month.
The number of troops suffering from conditions such as PTSD has nearly doubled in the past ten years.
Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan
In 2007, 1.8 per cent of regular soldiers were diagnosed with mental health conditions triggered by battlefield experiences, according to Government figures.
Last year, the figure had jumped to 3.2 per cent – around 2,500 troops – yet defence officials have refused to acknowledge the problem is getting worse.
The MoD attributes the rise to “the successful effect of campaigns to reduce stigma, resulting in an increase in mental health awareness”.
Soldiers diagnosed with mental illnesses are currently offered psychiatric treatment, drugs and in some cases residential care.
Since 1995 more than 400 serving personnel are believed to have committed suicide, according to the Mail on Sunday.