Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence work for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom with global reach and influence. We will protect our people, territories, values and interests at home and overseas, through strong armed forces and in partnership with allies, to ensure our security, support our national interests and safeguard our prosperity.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

In UK Defence, people are vital to us achieving our aims. Looking after our people by managing stress, improving resilience, reducing stigma and providing excellent mental health and welfare support is key.

The Ministry of Defence has a Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy, which includes a focus on suicide prevention. We seek to understand the causes and risk factors that contribute to suicide, and to do what we can to reduce the level as much as we can.

Within Defence, and the Single Services (Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force), we have a range of experts who contribute to suicide prevention. This includes medical and mental health professionals, welfare, personnel and policy experts, and a range of other stakeholders.

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What are your current priorities?

Welfare provision, mental health, mental wellbeing and resilience are amongst our priorities in this area.

The rates of suicide within Defence are lower than the general population, although army rates have been increasing and are now the same as the general population. Young males within the Army are a group of particular focus.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

We wish to understand more about the causes and risk factors for suicide. Defence is a large and complex organisation, and conducting near real-time analytics is a challenge for cases of suspected suicide. We wish to collaborate with civilian organisations to share best practice and help us improve how we best support our People.

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