On the hoof: Project looks at horses helping mental health

Janine Jansen

BBC Spotlight

Researchers at the University of Exeter are looking at how connecting with horses can help improve mental health.

Royal Navy personnel and Royal Marines with mental health problems such as PTSD are taking part in the study, which is being run for the NHS.

Researchers said it was hoped such therapy could become one alternative to prescribing anti-depressant drugs.

Man with horse
Roy 'Eric' Cooper

Stephen Mulvey

BBC Stories

The upbeat post-war mood helped mask the scale of PTSD, but the trauma of WW2 may still be affecting families today.

Read more
The south coast's 'Home Guard' fighting PTSD in Normandy
A group of friends are cycling to Normandy for D-Day on vintage bikes and dressed as the Home Guard.

"PTSD imprisoned me" after serving in the Kenyan army

Lucy Mukuria is calling for more support for veterans with the anxiety disorder
There have been calls in Kenya to increase support for soldiers dealing with with post-traumatic stress disorder, an anxiety disorder where sufferers can relive traumatic events through nightmares and flashbacks.

Last week a soldier in Eldoret killed family members and then himself, which some have attributed to undiagnosed PTSD. 

Kenyan troops have been deployed to some of the most dangerous conflict zones on the continent. Often they are not given the necessary mental health support to help process their experiences when they return home.

Lucy Wairimu Mukuria was a psychologist in the Kenyan army for 11 years. She spent a year on the front line and was deployed to Somalia. She suffered with PTSD and is now calling for more to be done for Kenyan war veterans.

(Photo: Major Rtd Lucy Wairimu Mukuria Credit: Sona Shoppe)

PTSD 'at crisis levels' among police officers

Danny Shaw

BBC Home Affairs Correspondent

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) amongst police officers in the UK is far more common than was ever thought, a new survey suggests.

One - Durham PC Lee Jackson - was floored by the medical condition, which affects thousands of officers without them even realising.

"I thought I was pretty much invulnerable," says the 47-year-old constable.

"I didn't see things building up or the problems that were going to affect us."

PC Lee Jackson