A service evaluation of the military headfit initiative: An implementation study

Amber McKenzie, Bethany Croak, Laura Rafferty, Neil Greenberg, Sharon A.M. Stevelink*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: UK Armed Forces personnel provide first response, support and protection during national and international disasters and conflicts. They thus have a psychologically chal-lenging role which requires them to maintain a good state of mental health and wellbeing. HeadFIT is a preventative initiative developed to help foster mental fitness through various self-help tools and resources online including techniques to de-stress and increase drive. This paper reports on an independent service evaluation of HeadFIT to examine feasibility and acceptability among Ministry of Defence (MOD) personnel. (2) Methods: Qualitative interviews were held with the HeadFIT ben-eficiaries, including military personnel and civil servants. The beneficiaries provided feedback on HeadFIT through questionnaires and interviews, and website traffic data were also collected. Qualitative data were analysed using framework analysis. (3) Results: Beneficiaries generally reported positive views on the HeadFIT initiative, with most agreeing that the tools could support them to foster their mental fitness. However, concerns were raised around the uptake of HeadFIT and participants suggested methods to improve usability. (4) Conclusions: Several recommendations were made to improve the resources, usability, uptake, and implementation and communication of HeadFIT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7375
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number14
Early online date9 Jul 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Civil Service
  • Defence
  • HeadFIT
  • Initiative
  • Mental fitness
  • Mental health
  • Military
  • Service evaluation
  • Wellbeing


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