Today marks the start of national Mental Health Awareness Week, supported by The Mental Health Foundation. This year’s theme is ‘surviving or thriving’, reflecting the fact that, for many people, daily life can be a struggle.
It’s not good enough to be able to tread water – this is all about learning how to swim.
Armed Forces personnel and their families are more vulnerable to mental health issues because of the work and conditions they endure and the stigma attached with seeking help – that can lead to further problems in the long run.
In March 2017, commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation, NatCen conducted a survey amongst its panel members in England, Scotland and Wales. This aimed to understand the prevalence of self-reported mental health problems, levels of positive and negative mental health in the population, and the actions people take to deal with the stressors in their lives. 2,290 interviews were completed, with 82% online and 18% by phone. Click here to read
Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People who is in full support of this week said:
“This subject is something I care passionately about. A lot of excellent work has taken place, both externally and within MOD, to encourage people to talk about mental health, to recognise it, and to take positive actions to manage it. This has helped hugely to tackle the stigma so often associated with mental ill health.
“Promoting a positive culture for mental health is something we can all contribute to within Defence, particularly those of us who are leaders or managers. There is a wide range of resources available to help identify or address mental health problems both within MOD and externally. This week, I encourage you to spend some time exploring them and thinking about what it means to have good mental health.”
If you, a friend, a colleague or family member thinks they may be experiencing mental health problems you can seek help through your local welfare team, your chain of command, your medical officer (by booking an appointment – no need to say what it’s for) or any of the following organisations:
The Royal British Legion