MP backs mental health initiative in armed forces

editorial image

An initiative which helps people tackle mental health issues in the Armed Forces community has been backed by Richmond MP Rishi Sunak.

The MP pledged his support for Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) courses after attending a briefing on the issue in the House of Lords.

Politicians, veterans and high-ranking officers in the military heard how thousands of serving and ex-serving personnel and people in the the Forces community had already undertaken the courses. 

Participants learn to spot symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help and guide a person to appropriate professional help.

Mr Sunak said: “Members of our Armed Forces put their lives on the line for our country and as a nation we have a moral duty to look after them and their families.

“The courses are very valuable in helping the Forces community identify individuals who may be at risk and ensure their get the professional help they need. I hope the Government will be to continue its support for the programme.”

Mr Sunak was invited to attend the briefing by Angela Wall, an approved Armed Forces MHFA instructor, based near Northallerton. She runs regular courses in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

She said: “The course is the mental health equivalent of physical first aid training and provides participants with the skills and confidence to be able to recognise common mental health problems and guide a person toward the right support.”

Anyone from the Armed Forces community, including family, is eligible to attend the training. More information at www.mhfaengland.org or from Angela Wall at angela@awa2001.fsnet.co.uk or phone on 07899 910965.