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Mind Kind: Mental Health and Forces Families

This week, BFBS launched Mind Kind, supported by military mental health experts, charities and champions, dedicated to supporting forces families with their mental health.

Mind Kind is a series of interviews, videos, case studies, practical tips and information on mental health and forces families across BFBS Radio, Forces News, social channels and at https://www.forces.net/mindkind

WO1 (SEAC) Glenn Haughton OBE, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chiefs of Staff Committee and Armed Forces Mental Health and Wellbeing Champion, says:

“The armed forces simply wouldn’t be able to do the job they do for our country without the amazing support and resilience they receive from their families. That’s why mental health care for armed forces families is a cause very close to my heart – and an area where we need to do more. There is support out there, but all too often the people who need it aren’t aware of it. I’m very happy to be involved with Mind Kind and I hope it will be the first step in driving many more conversations and action around helping forces families with the mental health issues they face.”

The week will culminate in an interactive session on BFBS Radio Facebook on Friday 3rd July at 1pm (UKT) with forces families, mental health experts and welfare champions from the Ministry of Defence on the panel.

Key names on the panel include: Helen Helliwell, Director Armed Forces People Policy; Nicola Flanagan, military wife,  Founding Director of MAMBA UK and a Perinatal Consultant specialising in pre and postnatal trauma and anxiety, and Dr Dominic Murphy, Head of Research at Combat Stress and President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society (full list of panel members can be found below).

Mind Kind seeks to support forces families with the mental health challenges they face and encourage them to share tips and advice – from how to spot post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in loved ones, to dealing with post-natal depression, anxiety and lockdown, all in the context of service life.

We’ll talk about the current pandemic, the ways it has affected those with mental health problems, but also how it may highlight the adaptability and resilience of forces families.

Nicky Ness, Director of Broadcasting and Entertainment, BFBS who will be chairing the panel says:

“Armed forces families are a vital and highly valued part of the forces community and of the BFBS audience – and their mental health is as important as those serving and veterans. That’s why we have launched our latest initiative Mind Kind, to bring together all interested parties to share ideas and signpost support to those in need.”

Full panel line-up

  • Chair: Nicky Ness – Director of Broadcasting and Entertainment, BFBS.
  • Diane Palmer – award-winning qualified nurse, social worker and therapist with 27 years’ experience specialising in military and veterans mental health for the past 16 years.
  • Nicola Flanagan – military wife, Founding Director of MAMBA UK and a Perinatal Consultant specialising in pre and postnatal trauma and anxiety.
  • Amy Winch – mental health champion, married to Lt Col Joe Winch, Royal Marines.
  • Helen Helliwell, Director Armed Forces People Policy.
  • WO1 (SEAC) Glenn Haughton OBE, Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chiefs of Staff Committee and Armed Forces Mental Health and Wellbeing Champion.
  • Dr Dominic Murphy Head of Research at Combat Stress and President of the UK Psychological Trauma Society.
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