Silhouetted anonymous Royal Marines on a joint personnel recovery exercise on Dartmoor
Forces Charities

Coronavirus: Study Finds Rise In Mental Health Struggles Among Military Community

The research by Help For Heroes also warned people were facing delays when accessing NHS services.

Silhouetted anonymous Royal Marines on a joint personnel recovery exercise on Dartmoor

A survey has found half of military personnel and veterans are not managing their mental health as well as before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey, carried out by Armed Forces charity Help for Heroes, was completed by 1,310 wounded veterans, service personnel and military families.

It also found 40% of people polled with life-changing injuries or health conditions had experienced a delay in accessing NHS treatments and services during the coronavirus crisis.

Nearly two-thirds said the delay had negatively impacted their mental health, with 59% saying it had negatively affected their physical wellbeing. 

Around one-third (34%) of those asked in the study also said they were concerned about being able to access the NHS' services once the pandemic eases.

Help For Heroes has continued to offer support throughout the pandemic, including providing specialist clinical advice and support to injured veterans. 

WATCH: Help For Heroes Chief Executive, Melanie Waters, explains how the charity has aimed to adapt amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the charity said it expects to lose out on 40% of its projected income as a result of cancelled events or fundraising activities.

It comes after a report warned one in 10 military charities fear they will have to close within the next 12 months as a result of coronavirius.

Help for Heroes Chief executive, Melanie Waters, said the survey makes it "clear" that veterans and personnel with mental and physical health needs are relying on the charity "as much as ever".

The charity chief said: "We have provided online support because we obviously can't meet people face-to-face in the way we might like and normally do.

"We have provided health coaching, to help give our veterans and their families the confidence that they need to work with health services and manage their own condition, and we think that's our duty as Help for Heroes because we know that the NHS and social care services are really really stretched, quite rightly, and we want to support them."

The survey also found 65% of participants thought managing mental health effectively was their biggest concern for the future.

Cover image: Royal Navy.