Mental Fitness

A quarter of people in the UK will experience mental fitness problems over the course of a single year and, while rates in the RN remain lower than in the general population, our diagnosis rates have increased.

Busting the Myth of Mental Health

While rates of mental health diagnoses remain lower in the Royal Navy than across the general population of the UK, rates within the Service have seen increases in recent years. This means that an increased focus on positive mental wellbeing and reduction in workplace stress is required throughout the RN.

Awareness of mental health has also increased globally.

Mental health problems start early in life. Current UK data demonstrates that 50% of mental health problems are established by the age of 14; rising to 75% by the age of 24. There is a perception that military service is intrinsically linked to poor mental health. Misinformation is fuelling this perception. 

Mental health awareness

For the entire Defence community


HeadFIT is the platform helping Defence personnel support their mental health and mental fitness.

Developed in partnership with the Royal Foundation, the MoD and Kings College London, and spearheaded by the Duke of Sussex, the HeadFIT campaign has been designed specifically for the Defence community. It provides 24/7 access to self-help tools that can enhance your mood, drive and confidence, and help manage the stresses of daily life. 

The HeadFIT platform has a range of tools, including: breathing exercises, body posture and relaxation techniques. Each has been designed for everyone across Defence, whether you're: a new recruit, long-serving personnel, a Veteran, civilian staff, or serving in uniform. The techniques are designed to be easily integrated into your everyday life.

visit headfit


REBALANCE aims to improve the mental health awareness of service mothers

  • By providing a basic education about worrying symptoms and behaviours
  • By reducing the stigma and barriers to treatment
  • By enabling service mothers to present themselves without fear of: being labelled by peers or Command, or being considered, as a ’bad mother’
  • By addressing the potential gaps between civilian and military healthcare providers using a ‘maternity health passport’, a document to ensure continuity of care from your health professionals


Returning to work

If a servicewoman is returning to work with an ongoing issue or condition, letting Defence GPs know will allow them to be assessed and supported to return to work.

Healthcare in service

Further information on what healthcare services are available within active service can be found on the NHS website.

Support from Division and Chain of Command

Remember, the Divisional System and Chain of Command are there to support you. There are people you can talk to if you want any further support or have any questions and queries you need answered.

As well as dispelling misconceptions, The Commanders Guide to Mental Health provides an evidence-based overview of the facts, enabling effective communication and messaging, and providing signposts to the latest resources.

There are also a wide range of external organisations that can provide support and guidance to you, from Combat Stress and Samaritans Support, through Mind - The Mental Health Charity and Togetherall, to Every Mind Matters. Your NHS is also on hand at every opportunity.

You can make contact in a way that suits you using the details below.

service personnel talking together on board

Help and support


Samaritans works with the Ministry of Defence and other charities to support serving personnel in the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. Visit their website or use their free 24-hour helpline providing a safe place to talk about anything that is bothering you.

116 123

Combat Stress

The UK’s leading mental health charity for all serving military personnel and veterans, and to families and friends that may have concerns. Visit their website or use their free 24-hour helpline offering confidential advice and support for stress, anxiety, and depression.

0800 323 4444


Providing advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Visit their website or use Mind’s Infoline provides an information and signposting service. Open 09:00 – 18:00, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).


0300 123 3393


A safe anonymous online community providing you with mental health support and advice for coping with the stresses of everyday life. Visit their website or use their free 24-hour online service where you can talk to people, who feel like you; whilst guided by trained professionals.

[email protected]

Every Mind Matters

Looking after your mental health. Offering expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Visit Every Mind Matters website

NHS Better Health

Whether you want to lose weight, get active or quit smoking, Better Health offers lots of free tools and support to make healthier choices.

Visit the NHS website