Prince Harry wants to improve the mental health of the armed forces

Oct 11, 2017, 00:22

The former Royal Green Jacket said of his time in the armed forces: "We have to bear in mind, I was told this: "Grab a man suit and suck it up".

Harry, who spent 10 years in the military, including two tours of Afghanistan, joined forces with Britain's Defence Secretary Michael Fallon to promote a new initiative to offer mental health support to those in the armed forces, their families and veterans. "I learned about the true meaning of service, duty, resilience and dedication", said Harry, who was known as Capt. Wales.

He said: "Quite simply, these men and women are prized assets which need to be continually invested in. We surely have to think of them as high-performance athletes, carrying all their kit, equipment and a rifle", he continued.

Just over half (51 percent) of those asked said it was now easy to speak about mental health.

The royal explained that the new initiative is "providing tools and information that will help everyone in the defense community to get ahead of some of these problems before they start".

It's after figures showed the proportion of personnel asking for mental health care has nearly doubled in the last ten years.

The investment will be used to establish a new start-up for digital mental health innovations.

Britain's Prince Harry said on Monday the mental health of serving soldiers was as important as ensuring they were ready to take part in conflicts. "I feel like it's exam results day", he said as he arrived at the Data Observatory at Imperial College London on Friday to view the findings.

The surveys suggested that a total 1.5 million more people (3%) were talking about mental health in May compared to February 2017, when the surveys were launched, with a 12% increase in the number of those admitting to talking about their own mental health.

He said he wanted troops to think about mental health in the same way they did about physical health.

However, Prince William acknowledged the fact that there's still a lot that needs to be done since three quarters of the recorded suicides in the United Kingdom are of men.

The Duke added: "At the beginning, we were trying to understand why at home people weren't sharing some of their problems".

The partnership is the latest in a series of royal efforts to promote greater understanding and openness around mental health through the work of the Foundation's Heads Together campaign, launched in May previous year. "If you can't even have a conversation with your loved ones, there's no way you're going to go to HR at work".

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