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Awareness of and willingness to access mental health support among UK serving and ex-serving military personnel who reported a mental health difficulty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Military, Veteran and Family Health
Early online date7 Jan 2023
DOIs
Accepted/In press14 Sep 2022
E-pub ahead of print7 Jan 2023

King's Authors

Abstract

Background: Awareness of and willingness to access mental health services are important first steps in help-seeking behaviour. However, evidence suggests UK armed forces personnel are not always aware of and willing to access sources of mental health support. This study aimed to explore which sources of support UK armed forces personnel are most aware of and willing to use for a self-reported mental health problem and to explore the possible differences between serving and ex-serving personnel.
Methods: Data was taken from a cross-sectional study comprising 1432 UK serving and ex-serving personnel, who had self-reported a mental health, stress or emotional problem in the past 3 years.
Results: Military personnel, irrespective of serving status, were most aware of and willing to access formal medical services. In contrast, there was a low awareness of and willingness to use ex-serving-specific support services amongst ex-serving personnel.
Discussion: Future service delivery and policy should focus on improving the variety of sources of support that ex-serving personnel are aware of and willing to use, to enable them to make informed choices about where to seek help if needed.

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