Ireland's Eye: What's going on in the old sod this week
A look at news from around Ireland
"This incident underlines the need to keep all dogs on a lead near cliff edges.
“Dogs can easily fall over the edge of cliffs when exploring or playing. Sadly, in such circumstances serious injury or death is likely to result,” a spokesperson said.
Vets Seeking Help
VOLUNTEERS who work with local British service personnel in Ballyclare and Antrim have said that the numbers seeking help for mental health issues are continuing to rise.
For some who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, physical injuries can be a tangible reminder of darker moments. However, those who assist service personnel warn of mental health problems which can turn lives upside down if left to fester, and have urged anyone experiencing mental health issues to speak to someone immediately.
The rise locally is reflected across the U.K. Combat Stress, a charity which offers support to members of the forces suffering from mental health issues, has said that it received over 1,500 new referrals between April 2011 and March 2012.
They currently assist over 5,000 service personnel throughout the U.K., including 724 in Northern Ireland, with men seemingly most affected. Only three percent of those receiving help from Combat Stress at present are women.
Branch secretary of the Royal British Legion in Ballyclare Alec Murray said that service personnel on the front line were experiencing scenes not seen for generations.
“The soldiers who have been over in Iraq and Afghanistan are seeing things that haven't been seen since World War II. It's a big change going back to civilian life and many solders can find it difficult,” he said.
“A lot of these men bottle things up and can suffer a lot of stress."
The Legion in Ballyclare serves as a first point of contact for military personnel seeking help in relation to finances or other issues, including combat stress.
“They can talk with people who have had a shared experience of being in the forces," said Murray.
“Soldiers are being treated well for injuries and rehabilitation, but I don't think the combat stress is being dealt with properly in general. It's not a thing that can be seen physically, and instead of counseling, people are turning to alcohol to deal with it. Sometimes people aren't fully aware that it's happening to them," he added.
Paul Michael works for the Royal British Legion and acts as its chairman in Antrim. In both this role and his position as a councilor on Antrim council, he is approached by many servicemen and women who have returned from tours of duty abroad and find themselves in difficulty.
“I do not know exact figures, but there are a number of service personnel who are finding themselves homeless, with alcohol problems or facing other difficulties after returning home," he said.
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