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Mandatory annual mental health training launched across the Armed Forces

To ensure personnel are always working toward top levels of mental fitness, a new Annual Mental Fitness Brief (AMFB) programme has launched across the UK Armed Forces on World Mental Health Day.

Designed to cover the most important aspects of developing and maintaining good mental health, the AMFB is available to all personnel across the services.

Honouring the commitment made by all Service Chiefs on World Mental Health Day 2020, the programme will require all Armed Forces personnel to receive a mandatory mental health briefing available from 11th October 2021.

The Ministry of Defence recognises the unique demands of military life and how people are the military’s finest asset. This new initiative builds up these themes outlined in the Defence Command Paper published earlier this year.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Leo Docherty said:

“I am proud we have taken yet another step to enhance our welfare provision for personnel. The Annual Mental Fitness Brief is the latest example of Defence’s commitment to ensuring our people are at the top of their game, both mentally and physically.

“Not only is it vital for our personnel to understand what help is available to them, it is also essential our provisions are regularly updated with the latest in mental health research and science. The new programme will take place annually, ensuring our service people are equipped to support their mental health both on and off operations.”

Personnel already receive a gold-standard of mental support including a range of dedicated and comprehensive medical services. However, the AFMB goes yet another step further, recognising how the unique pressures of service life can cause stress and directly educating personnel on how these can be managed.

Available on Defence’s internal learning platform, the mandatory annual briefing demonstrates Defence’s commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of the Armed Forces.

The programme is made up of modules which deliver cutting-edge learning outlining the latest strategies for mental health and wellbeing, stress management and transformation techniques for turning stress into mental resilience. It also includes steps personnel can take to access advanced support services.

As a mandatory programme, units will be responsible for ensuring that their personnel complete the briefing annually. The requirement aligns with other annual military assessments, such as navigation and operational law, establishing it as an essential part of the personnel development experience.

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