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Mental Health

News: 18th January, 2022

 

The NFF are delighted to support a new Royal Navy initiative which will see the Headspace App made available, for free, to all serving personnel and their families. Last year we successfully delivered a year-long pilot Headspace project with support from the Royal Navy wellbeing team. Your fantastic feedback and support for the project has provided the evidence to show that this platform is a key resource which can help support mental health and wellbeing within our community.

What to do next?
  • Serving RN, RM, RFA personnel & RN Civil Servants: Visit this page to sign up. Please reference RNTM 07-001/22.

 

  • Non-serving family members: Your Service person has to create their account first. Once they have done that, they will then be able to invite you to open an account too. Please refer to the FAQ section below for further clarification. If you know that your Service person is due to deploy on an exercise or operations, and therefore may have limited access to the internet, please make sure that they have created their account and sent you that invite BEFORE they go, so that you can access the App while they are away.  If you have further questions or technical issues please reach out to TeamSupport@headspace.com

 

  • If you already have a Headspace account, either as part of the NFF/RN FPS pilot or because you had accessed the platform independently, please refer to the FAQs below for further explanation.

 

*Please note that this is a new contract with Headspace, so there are particular steps that you will need to take to ensure that you get access to the full range of support that they offer.*

FAQ/ troubleshoot

Please refer to the FAQ below. If you have further questions or technical issues please reach out to TeamSupport@headspace.com

How do I sign up?

Q: How do I sign up for Headspace for the Royal Navy?

 

A: Signing up for Headspace is a 3-step process: Sign up/Log In, Verify and Finish. If you’re new to Headspace, you can sign up for an account by following the below instructions. You can also link an existing account by following the instructions below.

1. Visit the enrollment page. You will be asked if you have an existing Headspace account. Choose “No, create a new account”
2. Fill in the requested information, using your civilian email address for the registration, and click “Sign up”
3. Verify your account by entering your ‘@mod.gov.uk’ email address
4. New members will receive two emails: one to confirm your new Headspace account, and one to verify your organisation email address
5. Download the Headspace app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store
6. Open the app and log in using your Headspace login details
7. Get some Headspace

How do family members sign up to this project?

Q: My loved one is currently serving in the RN/RM/RFA. Where can I sign up?

 

A: Your serving loved one must create a Headspace account first. They will then be able to create a family license under Headspace for the Royal Navy scheme. Once they have registered for a Headspace account they will be sent a message on Headspace to register a family member. This offer is limited to 3000 licenses and will be on a first come first served basis.

I have an existing Headspace account. What do I do?

Q: Can I link my existing Headspace account to a Headspace for the Royal Navy membership?

 

A: Yes, If you’re already a Headspace user, you can link your existing account. Follow the below instructions:

1. Visit this page.
2. You will be asked if you have an existing Headspace account. Choose “Yes, I have an existing account.”
3. Enter your existing Headspace login information
4. Verify your account by entering your ‘@mod.gov.uk’ email address.

Please Note: If you purchased an individual membership, your Headspace Plus auto-renew was turned off automatically. If you have a student plan, family plan, or signed up through Apple iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify you will need to turn off auto-renew to cancel your billing and avoid being charged. Please see the next questions for instructions.

What if I leave the Royal Navy?

Q: What if I leave the Service?

 

A: If you leave the RN then your Headspace enrollment will continue until the end of the current contract.

I'm still being charged despite having switched to the Headspace for Royal Navy. Please help?

Q: I signed up for the Headspace for the Royal Navy but I’m still being charged. What’s happening?

 

A: If you’re currently a Headspace Plus member with an individual plan and you signed up through Apple iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify you will need to turn off auto-renew to cancel your billing and avoid being charged. See instructions below. If you need additional help, please contact teamsupport@headspace.com.

I'm part of a family plan, will this affect my enrollment in Headspace for the Royal Navy?

Q: I am part of a Headspace family plan, how does this affect my enrollment in Headspace for the Royal Navy?

 

A: If you are currently enrolled in a Headspace family plan, you will need to leave the family plan or you will continue to take up a spot in the plan. Your family plan owner has to remove you from the plan. Only the family plan owner will be able to delete someone from the family plan. Upon doing this, the family member who has been deleted will receive an email confirming these details. This opens the spot for a new family member to be added.

To remove a member from your family plan, please follow these steps:
1. Visit https://www.headspace.com/family/manage
2. Click the “X” button to the right of your family member’s email address

I'm the owner of a family plan, how will my enrollment in Headspace for work affect my other members?

Q: I am currently the owner of a family plan, how will my enrollment in Headspace for work affect my other members?

 

A: If you are the owner of a family plan and enroll in Headspace for Work, you will continue to be billed for the annual family plan subscription unless you turn off auto-renew. If you close your family plan account or turn-off auto renew all members in your family plan will lose access to their Headspace Plus membership through the family plan Account once your subscription expires. If you are enrolled in Headspace for Work and close your family plan Account, you will continue to have access to Headspace Plus through Headspace for Work and don’t need to take any further action.

If you wish to cancel your Family Plan, turn off auto renew by:
● Visit https://www.headspace.com/subscription/manage
● Log into your account
● Select “TURN OFF AUTO RENEWAL”.
● If the button is not there, please send an email teamsupport@headspace.com for help.

If you do not turn off auto-renew and keep your family plan, you will continue to have access to Headspace Plus should you leave the Royal Navy.

How to cancel Headspace Plus Subscription (paid versions - Apple iTunes, Google Play, Spotify Bundle)?

Q: How do I cancel my current Headspace Plus Subscription if I paid with Apple iTunes, Google Play, or the Spotify Bundle?

 

A: Cancellation steps can differ, depending on where you subscribed (directly through Headspace, Apple App Store or Google Play Store). Please review below to see the steps that apply to you:

If you purchased your subscription from our website:
1. Log in to your account from a desktop or mobile browser (not the mobile app) at www.headspace.com.
2. Visit https://www.headspace.com/subscription/manage and click/tap “TURN OFF AUTO RENEWAL”.
3. If the button is not there, please send an email to help@headspace.com.

 

If you purchased your subscription via Apple App Store:
1. Open the Settings app
2. Scroll down to “iTunes and App Store”
3. Tap Your AppleID Email
4. Select “View AppleID” (You may be asked to log in)
5. Tap “Subscriptions”
6. Select the Headspace subscription
7. Tap “Cancel Subscription” to disable it from auto-renewing at the end of the current billing cycle

 

If you purchased your subscription via Google Play Store:
1. Open the Google Play Store
2. Tap Menu (3 small horizontal lines) next to “Google Play”
3. Tap Account and then Subscriptions
4. Find the subscription you want to cancel
5. Tap Cancel

 

If you purchased your subscription via Spotify:

1. Visit https://www.spotify.com/account/subscription and log in to view your Spotify subscription information

2. Manage your payments or cancel by visiting the “Subscription” section of your account

If you need more help with this, please visit Spotify’s Help Page or contact them directly at https://support.spotify.com/contact-spotify-support/

I’m having issues with the app. What should I do?

Q: I’m having issues with the app. What should I do?

 

A: If the app is running slowly or freezing, please try to reinstall the app on your device. A strong WiFi connection is important to ensure downloads are fast and seamless. If you are still experiencing issues, please email  help@headspace.com with the make, model, and operating system of your device.

I'm not connected to the internet, will I be able to access the app?

Q: Can I use Headspace if I am not connected to the internet?

 

A: You can play any of your Headspace meditation sessions offline by using our mobile app for iOS or Android devices. While online, simply select and pre-download your sessions for offline use.

Can I use the subscriptions with kids?

Q: Can I use the subscriptions with kids?

 

A: Anyone over 13 can use subscriptions on their own. For under 13 year olds, the Kids Packs are included in your subscription and you can use these with kids without interruption in your own progress. Headspace strongly advises that no children under 13 use the app without the supervision of a parent / guardian / teacher.

What devices can I use to access Headspace?

Q: What devices can I use to access Headspace?

 

A: Apple iOS or Android devices: This can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes App or Google Play Store respectively. For the optimum experience, we recommend using an iOS device with iOS 9.0 or later. Android devices will require operating system 4.0 or later.

For tablets, the Headspace app can be used on any iPad with iOS 9 or later, and any Android tablet with Android 4.0 or later (including Kindle Fire tablets). Headspace also integrates with the Apple Health App and Apple Watch.

Web Browser: Headspace is optimized to run on the latest versions of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Opera

Please Note: While you can using Headspace.com on your tablet’s browser, for the best experience, please download the Headspace app through the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store.

Further support

Q: I need help. Who can I contact please?

 

A: The Headspace Support Team is available 7 days a week:

1. Email: teamsupport@headspace.com
2. Live Chat: If you see the orange “Chat” bubble on the bottom right-hand corner of the page, click/tap on it

Researchers at King’s College London are carrying out a new study into maternal health and wellbeing in the Armed Forces community. Findings from the study will be used to help those providing care to spouses and partners of UK Armed Forces personnel, including NHS and Defence healthcare professionals, Armed Forces charities, community and welfare teams, and perinatal health organisations. It is hoped that this will lead to improvements in services for spouses and partners of Service personnel during and after pregnancy.  

Background

Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby signifies a period of unprecedented change, excitement and hope for the future for most women. However, for some, it can be a particularly difficult time due to mental health issues, which may arise during or after pregnancy.  The spouses and partners of Armed Forces personnel may be at increased risk of developing a mental health problem in the perinatal period (pregnancy and up to 12 months following birth) as they are exposed to unique factors associated with this unique lifestyle. 

However, we know very little about what pregnancy and early motherhood is like for UK Armed Forces spouses and partners, with the majority of available evidence coming from the US. 

About this study

The study is being supported by the three Families Federations and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The project is being conducted via an online survey.

To take part in the study, participants should be: 

  • Currently pregnant (by a minimum of 12-weeks) or up to12 months postnatal 
  • 16 years old or above 
  • NHS registered  
  • Currently living in the UK  
  • In a relationship (married/civil partnership or other) 
  • Partner currently on regular or Full-time Reserve Service (FTRS) in the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army or Royal Air Force OR in full-time civilian employment  

Please click this link to participate in the research.

Get in touch

If you’d like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch:  

Posted on: 22nd January, 2020

 

Having assigned to work at Hasler Company, a dedicated centre to professionally help with rehabilitation for serving personnel, as well as losing friends to suicide, Captain Ryan Morris set up Project Regain to promote early detection and help for Royal Marines who could suffer from mental health issues.

 

Royal Marines have the lowest rates of mental health problems within the UK Armed Services, but Regain aims to improve mental health awareness and reduce stigma. Evidence collected by the project suggested that commandos find it hard to ask for support when symptoms of illness like PTSD and depression first appear. Findings also show that lack of knowledge about mental health issues make it a hurdle to recognising a developing condition. This initiative will help Marines access treatments at the start of an issue, which can reduce the treatment timelines.

 

 

Overview of Regain
  • It gives individuals access to basic education about mental health symptoms and the ways in which to seek help.
  • It allows serving Royal Marines to refer themselves directly to specialists without the need to first go through their unit’s medical officer – all they need to do is pick up a phone and call the Department of Community Mental Health at Colchester (Tel: 01206 817 057/ Mil: 94660 7057) and from there they will be put straight through to a nurse who will arrange an appointment locally.
  • Most Royal Marines who seek help have eight to 12 sessions of talking therapy and then carry on their careers. All the treatment provided is confidential.

 

Further Information

Please visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/Regain for more information, or read a short summary of this initiative in Homeport magazine (Summer ’19, p.32).

 

 

Posted on: 13th May, 2019
Updated on: 18th June, 2019

In December 2017, the Department of Health and the Department for Education released a Green Paper to consult on mental health provision for children and young people. It set out 3 key proposals for schools and the NHS to improve services.

 

The NFF released a formal response, following the publication of this Green paper. Our response highlighted the impacts of Naval Service have on children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and called for action in the Government’s future plans. To read a short summary of the Government’s proposals and our response, please click here.

 

Implementation

The consultation period lasted for 13 weeks from December 2017 to March 2018, and has received over 2,700 responses. The Government’s response to the consultation was published in late July 2018. The implementation began in early 2019 – 25 trailblazer areas across England to provide expert mental health support to almost half a million children and young people every year. 59 new Mental Health Support Teams are now undergoing training at seven universities nationwide, with plans to be operational by December 2019.

 

Each designated team will support up to 8,000 children and they are responsible for a cluster of around 20 schools and colleges each, to build on support already in place from different sectors (e.g. school counsellors, nurses). The teams are designated to help with treating mild and moderate mental health issues in school; a link to specialist NHS services will also be provided to those with more severe needs, to access the right support. Funding from the Department for Education is also in place to train senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, to work closely with the NHS teams.

 

The Current Trailblazer Areas

North

  • Doncaster CCG & Rotherham CCG
  • Liverpool CCG
  • Newcastle Gateshead CCG
  • Northumberland CCG
  • North Kirklees CCG & Greater Huddersfield CCG
  • South Tyneside CCG
  • Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership

 

Midlands & East

  • Herts Valley CCG & East and North Herts CCG
  • North Staffordshire CCG
  • Rushcliffe CCG and Nottingham North and East CCG
  • South Warwickshire CCG
  • Stoke on Trent CCG

 

South East

  • Buckinghamshire CCG
  • Berkshire West CCG
  • North Kent CCG grouping: Swale and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCGs
  • Oxfordshire CCG

 

South West

  • Gloucestershire CCG
  • Swindon CCG

 

London

  • Bromley CCG
  • Camden CCG
  • Haringey CCG
  • Hounslow CCG
  • South West London HCP: Wandsworth and Sutton and Merton CCGs
  • Tower Hamlets CCG
  • West London CCG

 

 

Further Expansion

The trailblazer sites are made up of the NHS and key local stakeholders, including schools and colleges, local authorities and third sector organisations and will be rolled out to between one-fifth and one quarter of the country by 2023/24. Plans for further expansion of this service has also been set out in the NHS Long-Term Plan.

 

The NFF welcomes the introduction of the new services. Please do contact us if you would like to share your comments.

 

Posted on: 5th February, 2018
Last Updated on: 25th January, 2019

HALO survey

The Helping Armed Forces Loved Ones Survey (the ‘HALO’ survey) aims to better understand the needs and experiences of people who are worried about the mental health of a loved one who services or has served in the Armed Forces.

 

The second wave of the study is now underway. This part of the study focuses on mood swings.

 

If this sounds like something that may be relevant to you, please take 10 minutes or so to complete the confidential online survey. Upon completion, you can opt in to enter into a prize draw to win one of 5 Amazon gift vouchers (worth up to £50). The survey is here.

 

 

Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds

The HALO survey is part of a bigger HALO study that gives you the option to seek support directly from Help for Heroes ‘Hidden Wounds’ programmes. ‘Hidden Wounds’ can help if you are worried about the mental health of a family member, partner or loved one serving in the Armed Forces. It can help you, too, if you are worried about the effect of their mental health on your own wellbeing. To find out more visit the website and use the contact form or email.

 

HALO social media

Facebook

Twitter

 

Posted on: 5th November, 2018
Updated on: 30th January, 2019

Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey about mental health for Royal Navy and Royal Marines families. Your feedback is extremely valuable and helps us to represent accurately your views and experiences. The results of the survey are here.

 

This survey was carried out to assist the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) with its current inquiry into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces. The Committee makes recommendations for change. On 25 July 2018 it published Part 1 of its report into the Mental Health of the Armed Forces, which considers the scale of mental health issues. The Naval Families Federation provided evidence for this report. The Committee accepted our view that mental health should be considered in a holistic way, rather than focusing solely on the serving person. We want to find out more about the impact of military service and lifestyles on the mental health of family members, to make sure you are properly supported. Part 1 of the Committee’s report acknowledges that families’ mental health can be affected by the stresses of Service life and by traumatic events experienced by their military partners. It makes a number of recommendations, including that the Ministry of Defence, in conjunction with the health departments of the four nations, places a greater focus on Service and veterans’ families as part of its mental health care provision. This should include supporting further research into the mental health of current and former Service families to determine what provision is needed. The Ministry of Defence should also monitor how this provision is applied across the UK as part of its annual report on the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

You can read Part 1 of the HCDC report here and our evidence here. We will keep you up to date with any further developments as they happen.

 

Posted on: 5th September, 2018

 

Mental Health

Everyone has mental health as well as physical health, and these aspects of health are often related. All of us will experience challenges at some point in our lives that affect our emotional, social and psychological wellbeing. These difficulties may be temporary or part of a longer-term mental health condition. Help is available so please reach out and ask for support if you need to.

Accessing NHS Services

NHS Urgent Mental Health Line (England)

If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment. It’s important to know that support is available, even if services seem busy at the moment because of Covid-19.

 

Mental Health Services at NHS 24 (Scotland)

NHS 24 mental health services are available to everyone in Scotland. The services they offer include listening, offering advice, and guiding you to further help if required.

 

NHS Wales Mental Health and Wellbeing Service

Extra help for your mental wellbeing is available across Wales, online and over the phone. These resources are safe, free, and you don’t need a referral, so take a look and see what can help you today.

 

Northern Ireland Mental Health Services

If you are experiencing problems with your mental health it is important to talk to your GP about your thoughts and feelings. The earlier you seek help the easier it will be to identify and resolve your problems.

 

NHS Every Mind Matters

There are times when we all feel the strain. As parents and carers, there are ways we can support children and young people to give them the best chance to stay mentally healthy.

 

  • The following services may be open to Service Leavers, Veterans, Reservists and their families – please contact the appropriate organisation to check your eligibility.

 

England

Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service is delivered by NHS England in partnership with a range of specialist providers. A map which provides more information about the services available can be found here.

 

Scotland

Veterans First Point Scotland is an NHS Scotland programme which provides a veteran-led mental health and welfare support service. The partnership aims to maximise engagement with Scottish veterans and support recovery from mental health issues through welfare and psychological support.

 

Wales

Veterans NHS Wales provides specialised, priority service for individuals who have served in the Armed Forces, at any time in their lives and who are experiencing mental health difficulties related specifically to their military service.

 

Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland Veterans Support Office can provide more details about the range of mental health support services available to Veterans and their families.

Action for Happiness

Action for Happiness helps people take action for a happier and kinder world.

CAMHS Resources

This site was created for young people, carers and professionals to pool together lots of helpful resources from across the internet that are available to help support your mental health and well-being.

*Please note that this is not an official NHS website*

Combat Stress

The ex-Services Mental Welfare Society, Combat Stress, is the only Services charity specialising in helping those of all ranks from the Armed Forces and the Merchant Navy suffering from psychological disability as a result of their Service. You can visit their website here.

If you’re currently serving, or have served in the UK Armed Forces, you can call the Combat Stress 24-hour Helpline to talk about mental health. If you are a family member or carer worried about a loved one or need to talk to someone yourself, you can use it too.

The Helpline is open all day, every day, offering support and advice. This is a free and confidential service. Combat Stress are there for you if you are having a tough time, have trouble sleeping, have flashbacks, get depressed, get anxious sometimes or just feel that something is not quite right.

Call 0800 138 1619 / Text 07537 404 719 / E-mail helpline@combatstress.org.uk.

Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is required to maintain the health and wellbeing of its people primarily to ‘deliver and support military effect’. This ensures its people can deploy on operations and remain fully employed in their day to day role. For Service Personnel, the MOD must also meet the commitment of the Armed Forces Covenant, ensuring that Armed Forces personnel and their families are not disadvantaged within wider society, either during their time in the Service or in their lives beyond the military.

The Defence People Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of our Armed Forces, their families, veterans, and civilians. It builds on five years of health and wellbeing research and activity to establish the integration of mental and physical health. It is focused on promoting positive mental health and wellbeing; preventing and detecting mental health illness; and treating such illness when it is diagnosed.

You can read the document in full here.

Contact

Contact is a group of charities working with the NHS and MOD. They want to make it simpler for the military community to find support for their mental wellbeing. Find out more here.

Headspace

The RN is offering all serving personnel (Regular, Reserve and RFA) and their families free access to the Headspace App.

Heads Together

Heads Together was launched to change the national conversation on mental health and tackle the stigma that prevents people from getting help, alongside developing a series of new mental health initiatives.

Help for Heroes Hidden Wounds

Hidden Wounds supports thousands of men and women and their families from the Armed Forces.

Mind

The mental health charity, who offer advice and run support groups for those affected by mental health problems. To find your nearest MIND, please visit their website.

NSPCC

Recognising the signs that a child may be struggling with their mental health can be really hard. The NSPCC have got advice to help you support children who may be experiencing depression, anxiety, suicidal feelings or self-harm.

Overseas

Service families living overseas may register with the Service’s Medical Centre to receive routine and emergency health care. Personnel should speak with their UPO for guidance on registering.

Papyrus

PAPYRUS is the national charity dedicated to the prevention of young suicide. They provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person through their helpline, HOPELINEUK.

Project Regain

Regain is an initiative masterminded by a serving Royal Marines Captain, which aims to improve mental health awareness and reduce stigma. This initiative will help Royal Marines access treatments at the start of an issue, which can reduce the treatment timelines.

Royal Navy Family & People Support (RN FPS)

If you have any problems regarding well-being, please remember that RN FPS are here to support you, staffed by Service people and civilians from a variety of specialisations and offers advice, counselling and advocacy on a wide variety of issues, including mental health issues.

See, Hear, Respond

The See, Hear, Respond Partnership is a service funded by the Department for Education. With your help, the See, Hear, Respond Partnership will quickly identify and support children, young people and families who are struggling to cope with the impacts of coronavirus.

Suicide prevention and peer support in the armed forces: A pocket guide by the Samaritans

The Suicide prevention and peer support in the armed forces: A pocket guide by the Samaritans 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. You can access it here.

The Recovery Pathway

This leaflet provides a guide to recovery for all wounded, injured and sick Naval Service personnel and their families. It details each stage of the recovery progress, looks at temporary employability during the Recovery Pathway, and lists the contact details for numerous support organisations.

Togetherall (Formerly Big White Wall)

Togetherall is an online early intervention service for people in psychological distress. It combines social networking principles with a choice of clinically informed interventions to improve mental wellbeing. It can be accessed 24/7 and has staff who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members.

Togetherall is a community of people who are experiencing common mental health problems who are supported to self-manage their own mental health. According to members, one of the most important elements of the service is the ability to talk freely, whilst remaining completely anonymous.

Togetherall has won multiple awards for its services, and its LiveTherapy service is CQC registered. It is free to join for Regular and Reserve members of the Armed Forces and their family members.

Young Minds

Young Minds are leading the national charity for children and young people’s mental health. They have a helpline for parents and lots of useful information on their website.

Posted on: 6th May, 2016
Updated on: 9th February, 2022