FAMILIES of former members of the armed forces are being left without support while their relatives deal with severe mental trauma, according to the wife of an ex-soldier sectioned after returning from the battlefield.

Kate England, 39, unexpectedly became a carer for her husband James after he developed post traumatic stress disorder following a tour of Bosnia and three tours of Iraq with the Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

The couple, who have four children together, have endured a difficult decade since Mr England, 36, left the army in 2007 as anxiety, depression and drinking took their toll, making it hard for him to hold down a job.

He was sectioned last year after smashing up the family home and car.

Mrs England is calling for more support for veterans’ families in light of her experiences.

In July, she will meet Dr Rob Bale, the clinical director for mental health for Oxford Health and her local MP Robert Courts to press home her case that more needs to be done for families.

The Stonesfield resident said the children of ex-servicemen in particular often have nowhere to turn despite being severely affected by their experiences.

She said: “It takes its toll. You feel cut-off from the community and can feel very alone and that no-one understands. Life feels very extreme.

“Children do not know what to do, it is very hard for them to understand.

“There are some amazing charities like Help for Heroes and Combat Stress that have been there for us but they are inundated with requests.

“Given the high density of military families in Oxfordshire, I feel there should be a dedicated service for families within the NHS.”

Kim Hay, of the charity The Ripple Pond which supports family members of veterans, said there was a significant lack of support for ex-forces families in Oxfordshire. She said: “Forces families often do not recognise the underlying stress they cope with.”