06 Sep 2018

New guide to help armed forces spot symptoms of mental illness

A new pocket guide has been launched to help people in the armed forces recognise and support those with mental health issues and contemplating suicide.

The guide, jointly launched by Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties, suggests ways of offering support and gives information on where help can be found.

All military personnel and reserves, some 200,000 people, will have access to either a hard copy or digital version of the booklet.

The guide builds on the range of support already available to service personnel who are struggling with their mental health, including access to specialist mental health medical care, training and education on good mental fitness and the Combat Stress 24-hour Mental Health Helpline.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “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.”

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