Serving in the military can be highly rewarding, but it can also be extremely challenging and may put a strain on your mental health and wellbeing during and after your service.
Suicide is complex, and there is often more than one reason why somebody might want to take their own life - to help us understand some of this complexity, the MoD and the Samaritans have published a handy pocket-guide for past and present military service personnel to help identify, understand, intervene and support those who may be at risk of suicide:
Evidence suggests that people who are currently serving in the military are twice as likely to suffer from common mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, which can lead to feelings of suicide.
If you, or somebody you know is currently serving in the Armed Forces, there is help available:
SSAFA Forcesline is a free and confidential telephone helpline and email service that provides support for serving (regulars and reserves) and ex-service men and women from the Armed Forces and for their families.
Combat Stress is there to support current service personnel and veterans when times are tough. Or, if you are worried about the mental health of somebody you know get in touch with Combat Stress for free confidential advice and support.
We understand that it may not only be your mental health that is affecting your wellbeing, you may be experiencing other difficulties, such as:
- Substance abuse
- Relationship breakdowns
- Financial worries
- Physical injury or disability
Leicestershire Partnership Trust have produced an Armed Forces information leaflet to help you, or somebody you know, access the right support at the right time.
Whatever you need help with, support is available:
Support for Bereaved Families of Service Personnel
The SSAFA have launched a new service called Military Families Affected by the Suicide of a Loved One (MFAS).
The service is a support group for bereaved families or service personnel. The support groups offer an opportunity to share experiences, get information and advice, and meet others in the same position as you.
To find out more, visit the website below and register your interest:
The SSAFA also offer a more generalised Bereaved Support Group (BSG).
This group is for any bereaved person that needs support through a bereavement of a loved one serving in the armed forces.