Mental Health

Mental Health Awareness Week: Forces Wellbeing Group Hosting Online Events

A new support group within 1st (UK) Division is running a range of activities remotely this week.

The Mental Wellbeing Working Group (MWWG) of the British Army's 1st (UK) Division is hosting online sessions for the Armed Forces community this week.

The virtual events are being run as part of the wider national Mental Health Awareness Week. 

The series of events are designed to raise knowledge surrounding the benefits of positive mental wellbeing. 

It includes classes on coping strategies for carers, improving the work-life balance, therapies and the importance of nutrition, diet and lifestyle.

Animal therapies, yoga and mindfulness sessions will also feature, while groups such as the Military Wives Choirs Foundation will too play a role in the week's schedule. 

The events are designed for the military community, including veterans and forces families, but are also open to the public.

The MWWG was set up in March to support the development of the Army's Mental Health and Resilience Network, which is due to launch later this year.

Communication surrounding mental health in 1st (UK) Division and the development of a resilience toolkit for personnel are among the objectives for the MWWG.

The context of this year's annual awareness week, the second during the COVID-19 pandemic, is not lost on the forces.

Captain Lee Mullett Second-In-Command of 77 Army Education Centre in Aldershot said: "Everybody's had some element of issues around lockdown and different ways of working, isolated ways of working, introduced to new methods of technology, being isolated from families – it's been pretty tough for everybody."

As well as reflecting on the last 12 to 18 months, Captain Mullett highlighted the importance of support to the entire military community.

The arrival of the awareness week comes as the Armed Forces Mental Health Champion has quit Twitter, after "suffering poor mental health as a result of trolling over a six-year period".

Warrant Officer Class One Glenn Haughton, a longstanding figurehead for the military online, said he had been on the "receiving end of some shocking behaviour from people that should know better".

Cover image: MOD.