Army widow diagnosed with PTSD after husband killed himself from same illness

0 Jo Jukes

The mum of Army veteran husband took his own life amid his post-traumatic stress disorder battle - now she has it too

The widow of an Army veteran with PTSD who killed himself has been diagnosed with the same devastating illness.

Jo Jukes developed the condition after her husband’s suicide last year.

And she says mothers and widows of veterans who take their lives are the hidden casualties of military suicide.

She believes her diagnosis could be the tip of the iceberg.

Jo says she is in touch with at least 15 other women struggling after their husband, son or daughter died by ­suicide. Mum-of-two Jo, 47, was ­diagnosed in February with severe anxiety and depression.

Her husband Dave, an Iraq war veteran and former Lance Corporal in the Staffordshire Regiment, hanged himself a year ago.

More than 140 veterans and service personnel have taken their lives since January last year.

Jo said her mental health seriously ­deteriorated a few weeks ago. She recalled: “It began when I was ­fighting to get Dave a full inquest.

A couple of weeks before the inquest I began to struggle mentally. My head was full of all the bad things that happened in the run-up to his death.

“It was as if I could only remember bad things, like when he smashed up the house, and not the good.”

Jo, from Birmingham, was told by her psychiatrist to contact a veterans’ charity for help with the trauma. She has been working with the All Call Signs group, praised by prince Harry.

Jo added: “I always believed I could deal with anything, but I ­realised I needed help.

“I’m not unique, loads of service families who have lost someone are struggling. And there’s ­nowhere to refer them to.”


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Saturday, 23 January 2021

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