There are many reasons why people need training in Mental Health First Aid

•Mental Health problems are common, especially depression, anxiety and those associated with misuse of alcohol and other drugs. One person in four experiences some form of problem with their mental health in the course of a year.

•There is stigma associated with mental health problems. This may be particularly acute within the Armed Forces community, and may hinder people from seeking help.

•People are often ashamed to discuss mental health problems with family, friends and work colleagues. They may also be reluctant to seek professional help for such problems because of their concerns about what others will think of them. Members of the Armed Forces may be particularly concerned that it will affect their chances of promotion and might lead to them being medically downgraded.

‘Stigma had been reported as an important deterrent for seeking help for mental health problems in the general population. It is likely that such deterrents are amplified in military culture where characteristics of strength, resilience, and self-sufficiency are selected for and prized’

(The stigma of mental health problems and other barriers to care in the UK Armed Forces, King’s College 2011)

•Many people are not well informed about mental health or mental health problems

•Professional help is not always on hand

•People may lack the insight to realise that they need help or that help is available

•The majority of us do not know how to respond