This briefing note (updated July 2017) provides an outline of the current evidence on UK military mental health, including prevalence rates of mental health problems in serving regulars, serving reserves and those who have left service. Findings relating to suicide, help-seeking, risk-taking, violence, offending and deployment mental health support are also addressed.
MENTAL HEALTH (REGULARS)
- The PTSD rate, in a combined sample of veterans and still serving personnel, was 4% in
2004/6 and 2009/10, but had risen to 6% in 2014/162. This compares to a rate of 4.4% within the civilian population.
- Potentially harmful alcohol misuse remains a common behavioural problem, but has
declined steadily from 16% in 2004/6 to 10% in 2014/16.
- The rate of common mental disorders has remained stable at around 20% from 2004/6-
- The prevalence of PTSD is not uniform across groups. In serving personnel it was 5% while in
those that have left service it was 7% where it may have been related to leaving service because of
poorer mental health.