J09150.pdf - Why is building psychological resilience...

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89 Daffey-Moore E. BMJ Mil Health 2020; 166 :89–94. doi:10.1136/jramc-2018-000962 Original research Why is building psychological resilience relevant to UK Service personnel in order to improve military mental health? Emma Daffey-Moore To cite: Daffey-Moore E. BMJ Mil Health 2020; 166 :89–94. DPHC HQ, DMS, Whittington, UK Correspondence to Sqn Ldr Emma Daffey-Moore, DPHC HQ, DMS, Whittington WS14 9PY, UK; emma. [email protected] Received 4 April 2018 Revised 12 April 2018 Accepted 16 April 2018 Published Online First 26 May 2018 Key messages Building psychological resilience is relevant for Service personnel to improve mental health and well-being. The MOD has a duty of care and clearly defined strategic intent which is being used to develop resilience building strategies by the single Services. The UK military have an opportunity to research the resilience building strategies being used in other countries and welfare organisations. Lessons and techniques could be learnt from UK Special Forces and US Navy SEALs. Mindfulness and Sleep health are two strategies that could be implemented across the UK military. ABSTRACT This article will aim to give an overview of stress and resilience, briefly exploring current definitions. It will try to identify why psychological resilience is relevant in the military context and suggest why the UK military could be exploring data from other countries and welfare bodies to enhance their own stress management policies in order to improve military mental health. The MOD (Ministry of Defence) understands their duty of care and has developed a clear strategic intent to tackle the increasing numbers of personnel developing mental health issues. While all three Services currently have in place comprehensive prede- ployment and postdeployment strategies to signpost indi- viduals, there is a lack of psychological fitness training. Examining resilience in the civilian sector has identified the relevance for individuals to be psychologically resilient in any context. The skills and techniques of the Special Forces are now becoming popular in the business world to increase resilience in individuals and their organisations. The MOD could improve military mental health through relevant strategies aimed at building resilience. INTRODUCTION In the military the word resilience is used predom- inantly about people. After two major conflicts in the last decade and a significant increase in Service personnel presenting with mental health issues, the requirement to develop strategies to improve mental health and reduce stigma was apparent. 1 While the prevalence of post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the UK remains low, there has been a rise in anxiety, depression and adjustment disorders. 1 The MOD understands their duty of care to develop strategies to deal with these issues. While the single Services currently have comprehensive stress management policies to deal with predeployment and postdeploy- ment, there is nothing specific in place to deal with the daily mental health of all Service personnel. Other

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