PTSD also takes its toll on families

Craiglockhart to host expert panel discussion

Date posted

23 February 2018


A PUBLIC event will explore the impact of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on the families of members of the armed forces.

Edinburgh Napier University has assembled an expert panel including a former Commando, an actress, a journalist and an academic researcher to assess whether enough is being done to support the loved ones of those living with the condition.

The panel and audience will also discuss where responsibility lies for ensuring this crucial backing is in place.

An Armed Forces Day at the university last April heard how many frontline veterans had been left with a legacy of acute anxiety, flashbacks and depression.

An event at the Craiglockhart campus on Wednesday March 7 will now look at the effect of PTSD on the wider family and the strain it can place on relationships.

On the panel will be Jamie Sanderson, a former Royal Marine who served as a sniper in Northern Ireland, Kosovo and Afghanistan, and co-founded the Rock2Recovery charity after his warzone experiences left him anxious, confused and on the brink of suicide.


Joining him will be Midsomer Murders actress Kirsty Dillon, who developed an interest in PTSD after her father suffered from the condition following service in the Royal Navy, Edinburgh Napier academic Dr Mandy Winterton, who has carried out extensive research into service family life, and a married couple who will offer their perspective on living with PTSD. 

The panel will be chaired by journalist Matthew Green, author of Aftershock, an influential analysis of life after combat.

PTSD and the Military Family – The Lived Experience is free to attend but registration is required. The March 7 event at the Lindsay Stewart Lecture Theatre begins at 6.15pm and will be followed by a drinks reception at 7.45pm.

Jamie Sanderson said: “Many veterans have had to cope with mental health issues following hugely demanding careers and intense deployments, and these issues inevitably have to be dealt with by their whole household.

“Our event at Edinburgh Napier University last year looked at the impact of PTSD on people who had served in the armed forces. Following feedback, the next event on March 7 will focus on the entire family and the strains the condition can put on marriages and relationships.”

Edinburgh Napier’s Craiglockhart campus is the site of the military hospital where war poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon first met more than a century ago.

The university has signed the Armed Forces Covenant, committing it to offering existing or former forces personnel a range of flexible entry paths on to degree courses which acknowledge prior qualifications and relevant experience.

As a Forces-friendly employer, the university is also committed to supporting new or existing staff from armed forces backgrounds and investing in their future career development.

Edinburgh Napier and the armed forces