The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is anxiety, a common feeling that can sometimes get out of control.
Mental Health Awareness Week, now in its 23rd year, runs from 15-21 May and is hosted by the charity, Mental Health Foundation.
This year, the theme is ‘anxiety’. Across the UK, people are encouraged to get involved by sharing their experience of anxiety and the things that can help with the hashtag #ToHelpMyAnxiety. As part of the campaign, the Mental Health Foundation will be publishing guidance on how we can manage and improve feelings of anxiety and prevent them from developing into a more serious mental health problem.
For those who are part of the Armed Forces community, long periods of time away from family during service, exposure to high stress situations and trauma, and the difficulty of adjusting between military and civilian life – all can impact on the mental health of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.
The most common ways these stressors impact on members of the armed forces are depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol misuse, though it is important to note that the rate of those needing specialist mental health treatment is lower in the UK armed forces than that seen in the UK general population.
Op COURAGE is an NHS mental health specialist service designed to help serving personnel due to leave the military, reservists, armed forces veterans and their families.
It can help with a range of support and treatment, including:
- helping the transition from military to civilian life by providing mental health care with Defence Medical Services (DMS)
- helping you recognise and treat early signs of mental health problems, as well as more advanced mental health conditions and psychological trauma
- providing support and treatment for substance misuse and addictions
- helping you to access other NHS mental health services if you need them, such as finding an NHS talking therapies service and eating disorder services
- liaising with charities and local organisations to support your wider health and wellbeing needs, such as help with housing, relationships, finances and employment
- supporting armed forces families affected by mental health problems, including helping them to access local services
For more information about this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week visit www.mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw