MoD helps military identify signs of mental health problems

Move follows departments launch of a mental health support package for its civil servants

Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA

By Mark Smulian

05 Sep 2018

The Ministry of Defence has worked with the Samaritans charity on a booklet that offers advice to 200,000 military personnel on how to identify signs that someone may have mental health problems.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson announced the initiative yesterday, saying: “Mental health issues can affect anyone, and I want to ensure no one in our military suffers in silence. It is vital that service personnel know where to turn to in times of crisis, and this guide will raise awareness of the support available.

“By helping our people to spot the early signs that someone may be struggling, we give them the best chance of a full recovery.”


The booklet is designed to promote peer support and gives advice on identifying someone who is struggling to cope with mental health issues; understanding suicide, knowing when to intervene and sources of further support.

Samaritans and the MoD have several joint initiatives to offer mental health training and support to serving personnel, veterans and their families paid for from £3.5m from fines from the LIBOR scandal, which the government decided to devote to military charities.

The MoD in May launched a mental health support package for staff with the Samaritans.

Some 2,200 civil servants have been trained as mental health first aiders, equipped with the knowledge to recognise early symptoms and provide initial help to colleagues experiencing issues.

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