Mental Health & Wellbeing
Mental health can be incredibly complex and difficult to understand at times, and each individual member of our Sapper family may need support and assistance for a multitude of reasons. Knowing where to turn to for information and support can be incredibly overwhelming, so we have compiled together a variety of military and civilian services that can offer the help you need, when you need it.
The first big step is acknowledging you may need support and talking about it. It’s surprising how much opening up to people can make a huge difference and help take the weight off your shoulders. We encourage you to speak with your friends, comrades and family, or talk to your boss, unit welfare staff, medical officer or GP.
There is also guidance that has been put together by the Army and mental health charity Don’t Bottle It Up, which details the best ways to maintain your mental fitness. A download link can be found at the bottom of this page.
Leafyard is a web based application that combines proven behavioral science and study to help people who may be struggling with mental health issues. Leafyard aims to educate and motivate their users by teaching them how to cope with stress, increase happiness, and build confidence, whilst helping them understand why they feel the way they do and what they can do to change it.
Leafyard offers customized support through the web application that is tailored to each user individually. The organization releases regular video and written content through the web application that is designed to aid users by giving helpful advice on how to slowly tweak their thought processes and lifestyle in ways that will have a long term beneficial effect on their mental health.
The web application also gives the users the ability to use an integrated journal to track their progress day by day, and plan out small changes step by step. Leafyard also provides users with a constant stream of unique, guided meditations and mindfulness exercises which are proven to improve stress chemicals in the body.
How to sign up
To request a REA Leafyard card, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Everyone that works within Op Courage is either from the armed forces community or is experienced in working with current or ex-military personnel, therefore they are very well equipped to deal with the very niche mental health problems that people from the armed forces may be dealing with.
To receive help and support from Op Courage, you must:
- Be a resident in England and have served in the UK armed forces for at least 1 day.
- Be registered with a GP practice in England or be willing and eligible to register with a GP.
- Provide your military service number.
Op Courage can help you and your family with a range of support and treatment, including:
- Support with intensive emergency care if you are in a crisis situation.
- Providing mental health care when transitioning from military to civilian life.
- Support for armed forces families affected by mental health problems.
- Help with recognizing and managing early stages of mental health conditions.
- Help with accessing other NHS mental health services.
- Help with connecting with other charities that can support wider wellbeing needs.
How to Contact (England only)
Please visit the NHS Website for more details.
Who to Contact in Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales
Although people from these countries are not able to access support from Op Courage, there are dedicated services for each region listed below:
The Samaritans are a suicide prevention and mental health charity that specialize in giving people the tools to cope through difficult times, as well as training people to help others who may be struggling. Over 20,000 trained volunteers are on hand to listen and help people who may be struggling with any mental health issues.
The Samaritans work directly with the Ministry of Defence and alongside other charities to support serving personnel in the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. Samaritans CEO Julie Bentley states that:
“Samaritans can share its expertise with the military so that those serving or leaving the forces and their families are better equipped to deal with their unique circumstances, as well as the day-to-day struggles, we all face”.
Alongside being able to contact the Samaritans for support via phone, text, email, live chat, and directly at one of the 201 branches nationwide, the organization also has an two apps that are available to download, one of which is specifically designed to support those who have served in the forces, named ‘Samaritan Veterans. The app encourages veterans to share their stories in order to reflect, manage, and understand some of the difficult experiences they may have endured in the military.
How to Contact
Combat Stress is the UK’s leading charity that is focused on helping military veterans with mental health issues. For over a century, they have helped former servicemen and women with complex mental health problems such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The vision of the organization is to help veterans tackle the past and take on the future, allowing them to live full and meaningful lives.
Combat Stress offer a range of different treatment plans, therapies, and support packages to aid with potential mental health issues, that are tailored to each person on an individual basis depending on their needs. Combat Stress are available to contact 24/7 via phone, and there Is the option to contact the organization via email and online web form to gain assistance. They also have several treatment centres located across the UK where veterans can get treatment and advice in person.
Togetherall is a global online community moderated by clinical professionals where people support each other anonymously to improve mental health and wellbeing. All Armed Forces personnel and veterans have completely free access to the platform where they can seek advice and share tips on how to deal with any of the difficulties they may be experiencing relating to their mental health. Togetherall partners directly with the Ministry of Defence to give direct insight on how to best help and look after the mental health of military personnel.
Online support from the Togetherall community is accessible 24/7 via the website. Alongside the per-to-peer sharing and support, there are a multitude of free online courses and other resources available to users to help manage their mental health issues.
How to Contact
Combat Stress 24-Hour Military Mental Health Helpline
Free, confidential helpline available to all serving military personnel and to families and friends that may have concerns.
Free confidential helpline and e-mail service providing support independent of the military chain of command.
tel: 0800 731 4880 open 9:00 – 17:30 Monday – Friday
Army Welfare Service
Personal Support Staff provide accessible, independent, confidential and professional specialist welfare services to soldiers and their families with any personal or family difficulty.
Tel: 01904 882053 open Mon-Thurs 08:30-16:30, Fri 08:30-16:00