Mental health

Mental health
Headley Court mental health centre

Mental health issues can affect anyone and it is thought that up to one in four people will suffer problems at some stage in their lives. Whilst much media attention has focused on the incidence of problems amongst former and serving personnel, studies have shown that rates of common mental health issues are actually broadly in line with civilian populations with only marginally higher rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst a small number of specific groups who experienced front-line operational combat roles. For more information on research into military mental health – Kings Centre for Military Health Research.

Mental health support for serving personnel and families

There are many specialist services for serving and former personnel and families who experience mental health issues as well as many general support services.

More information about NHS Mental Health help for Serving personnel. See also their leaflet entitled: NHS mental health care for veterans

Big White Wall offers free and confidential online mental health and well-being services including self help programmes and online community support. All service personnel, veterans and their families can access Big White Wall for free through their partnership with the Ministry of Defence and Help for Heroes.

RAF Benevolent Fund are working with Anxiety UK to provide additional support to those who are serving, veterans or their families. More information can be found in the article in a past edition of Envoy magazine.

MIND is a mental health charity who work to create a better life for anyone with experience of mental distress.

Further information about the range of mental health helplines available to anyone can be found via NHS Choices.

For more information about mental health support and other services for veterans, ex-service personnel and those who have left the RAF please contact the Veterans Gateway.

Families of serving RAF personnel can benefit from new training to spot mental health issues thanks to the RAF Associationsee news story.

See also our Wellbeing and mental health section within our Transition section.

Image: The Centre for Mental and Cognitive Health at Headley Court in Surrey, England. Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.