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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

MOD and Samaritans launch pocket support book for Armed Forces

A new pocket guide has been launched to help the Armed Forces spot and support those who may be struggling with their mental health and considering suicide.

The guide, jointly launched by Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties, suggests ways of offering support, and gives information on where help can be found.
The guide builds on the range of support already available to Service personnel who are struggling with their mental health, including access to specialist mental health care, training and education on good mental fitness.
Specifically designed to promote peer support amongst those serving, the guide champions “looking after your mates”, and covers:

* Identifying someone struggling to cope with mental health issues
* Understanding the complexity of suicide
* Knowing when to intervene, support and report
* Where to get further support, including the Samaritans service, whose volunteers are available any time, via phone and email or in person at the charity’s 201 branches, and the recently launched Combat Stress 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline.

Samaritans and the MOD have announced several joint initiatives to offer training and support to Serving personnel, veterans, and their families who are struggling with mental health issues.
The Samaritans programme has been funded by £3.5m of LIBOR money, and the guide is the latest part of this programme. A separate booklet is set to be launched for veterans, and the wider military community.
The next stage of the project will include the launch of other peer support tools, specially designed training courses for military personnel and a confidential webchat service. Training for Samaritans volunteers on how address mental health in a military environment will also be introduced.
The booklet will also help personnel spot signs that colleagues may be having suicidal thoughts and provides information on how such a situation should be approached, and where support is available.
The Ministry of Defence is now spending £220 million over the next decade to improve mental health services for personnel. In February of this year, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also announced the establishment of a 24-Hour Mental Health Helpline for serving personnel and their families, funded by the MOD and run by the charity Combat Stress.


Click HERE to access the pocket guide

Service Pupil Premium - Education Funding For State Schools

Service personnel with children in state schools in England only have until 17 January 2019 to notify schools of their children’s eligibility for the Service Pupil Premium (SPP).
The Department for Education introduced the Service Pupil Premium (SPP) in April 2011 in recognition of the specific challenges children from service families face and as part of the commitment to delivering the armed forces covenant.
State schools, academies and free schools in England, which have children of service families in school years Reception to Year 11, can receive the SPP funding. It is designed to assist the school in providing the additional support that these children may need and is currently worth £300 per service child who meets the eligibility criteria.

Pupils attract the SPP if they meet the following criteria:
  • One of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces
  • They have been registered as a ‘service child’ in the school census at any point since 2011, see footnote 1
  • One of their parents died whilst serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme
  • Pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full time reserve service are classed as service children.
    For further information see : www.gov.uk
    SPP should not be used to subsidise routine school activity (trips, music lessons etc.), however, schools may choose to fund school trips just for service children, to help them enjoy their time at school and build a sense of a wider community and understanding of the role their service parent plays (e.g. with military specific trips) to help them cope with the potential strains of service life.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Mental Health Awareness App for Veterans

Following the successful launch of the innovative Joining Forces Mental Health Awareness app for Serving Military Personnel, a similar app is now also available for veterans. 

The Veterans Mental Heath app includes help and guidance on key mental conditions, much like the Joining Forces app. 

It also features videos of veterans telling their own stories. One veteran who has used the app said: It really helped me to know I am not alone. 


The app can be download for free on Apple or Android devices and users can receive guidance and identify with those in similar situations. 

The Ministry of Defence is committed to providing access to mental health services to members of the armed forces, their families and veterans. 

This includes access to the Combat Stress 24-hour helpline, e-learning packages for GPs, and the Big White Wall, an online service providing help 24/7.


MOD and Samaritans launch pocket support book for Armed Forces


A new pocket guide has been launched to help the Armed Forces spot and support those who may be struggling with their mental health and considering suicide.

The guide, jointly launched by Samaritans and the Ministry of Defence, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties, suggests ways of offering support, and gives information on where help can be found.
The guide builds on the range of support already available to Service personnel who are struggling with their mental health, including access to specialist mental health care, training and education on good mental fitness.
Specifically designed to promote peer support amongst those serving, the guide champions “looking after your mates”, and covers:
  • Identifying someone struggling to cope with mental health issues
  • Understanding the complexity of suicide
  • Knowing when to intervene, support and report
  • Where to get further support, including the Samaritans service, whose volunteers are available any time, via phone and email or in person at the charity’s 201 branches, and the recently launched Combat Stress 24/7 Military Mental Health Helpline.
Samaritans and the MOD have announced several joint initiatives to offer training and support to Serving personnel, veterans, and their families who are struggling with mental health issues.
The Samaritans programme has been funded by £3.5m of LIBOR money, and the guide is the latest part of this programme. A separate booklet is set to be launched for veterans, and the wider military community.
The next stage of the project will include the launch of other peer support tools, specially designed training courses for military personnel and a confidential webchat service. Training for Samaritans volunteers on how address mental health in a military environment will also be introduced.
The booklet will also help personnel spot signs that colleagues may be having suicidal thoughts and provides information on how such a situation should be approached, and where support is available.
The Ministry of Defence is now spending £220 million over the next decade to improve mental health services for personnel. In February of this year, the Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also announced the establishment of a 24-Hour Mental Health Helpline for serving personnel and their families, funded by the MOD and run by the charity Combat Stress.