Don't Bottle It Up
The mental health and wellbeing of Service personnel, whether Regulars or Reservists, their families and veterans is a priority for the Government. If you are in urgent need of mental health support or advice for you or a family member please see the Mental Health Support and Contact Details panel at the bottom of the page.
Reducing stigma and barriers to careThe perceived stigma associated with mental health conditions in the Armed Forces reflects those of the general public. Overall, research indicates that the Armed Forces has no more of a problem with mental health issues than society as a whole. However, particular groups within the Armed Forces may be more vulnerable to certain disorders and the MOD continues to fund research to study the mental health of both serving personnel and veterans.
The biggest barrier to progress in early diagnosis and receiving appropriate and effective treatment of mental health problems is the long-standing problem associated with seeking help. The greatest concern is how they feel others may perceive them. Unlike the response provided to those displaying physical injuries, a person may appear perfectly fine, leading others to have a less sympathetic response.
The influence of stigma can be so significant that many will choose to endure the impacts of mental health conditions – even when they know they can be relieved or cured with treatment – rather than risk making others aware of what they fear will be perceived as a flaw or weakness. In many ways the stigma associated with mental health problems is actually more disabling than the condition itself.
The launch of the second phase of the “Don’t Bottle It Up” campaign is aimed at continuing the efforts to break down the stigma associated with Mental Health issues and to encourage service personnel to seek help (earlier) whilst signposting the support and services available.