By Ebriku John Friday
The Defence and Police Officers Wives Association, DEPOWA, has opted to care for military personnel with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, PTSD, and other mental problems.
This was made known by the DEPOWA President, Mrs Anwuli Irabor, during a press conference in Abuja on the DEPOWA-Proceed Armed Forces PTSD Centre.
With the ongoing war against insurgency, Irabor said many military officers may suffer PTSD and many other forms of mental problems as a a result of experiences from the battle zone, hence, the need to care for their mental health with the PTSD centre.
She said, “As wives of these officers, what we see and hear shows that the experiences of a significant number of these personnel cannot be quantified. They leave these combat zones with physical injuries and suppressed emotional trauma built from experiences in the field.
“These experiences going unchecked have led to damning consequences in our military community. One of the major issues raised from the analysis of feedback from military wives across the country, is the distinctive trait observed, such as nightmares, anxiety, insomnia, burst of anger, violence, depression, flashbacks, intrusion, suicidal tendencies and other related traits.
“In consultations with medical personnel, we are made to understand that these behavioural changes are triggered in response to trauma, experienced in the daily discharge of duty at conflict zones. As such, it’s an expression of PTSD.
“Consequently, we the wives of our gallant soldiers have decided not to sit and watch but mobilise timely intervention, towards reducing the impact of such trauma on our personnel. We have advocated for the establishment of an armed forces PTSD centre for diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and research in Nigeria.
“It is our desire to have a reintegrated structure for our husbands that ensures they return to us in good health and total wellness.”
To this end, she commended the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor and the Service Chiefs for their unwavering support towards the project, noting that other stakeholders drawn from the private sector would assist in seeing the success of the project.