The Think-Tank seminar series

The Mental Health of the Armed Forces and Veterans - Facts and Fiction

Facilitator

Professor Neil Greenberg, King’s College London.

Date and time

12:00 -13:00, 16 May 2014

Abstract

The mental health of UK service personnel, both still serving and Veterans, is a topic that is rarely out of the political and media spotlight. However, many of the reports made about this group are speculative and based on anecdote rather than fact. There is however a wealth of published data available about the mental health of still serving personnel and Veterans which often shows that many of the 'wild' claims of made are in fact no better than hearsay. This presentation will provide an overview of the mental health status of the still serving and Veteran population in the UK, highlight what is known about the range of mental health supportive measures which the UK Armed Forces provide for deploying personnel and examine the major risks that those who transition out of the services face. The talk will also highlight key differences between what is known about UK military personnel and the mental health of their coalition colleagues including US forces as well as provide a view on the highly complex, and often confusing, 'arena' of the UK's Veteran Mental Healthcare provision which may well, as configured, not serve the needs of Veterans especially well.