Mental Health

Young People In The Military Do Not Ask For Help Over 'Stigma', Charity Says

The report released by SSAFA shows that around 50% of those under the age of 30 did not seek help, even though they needed support. 

Military charity SSAFA says the statistics they have released show a "worrying trend" (Picture: PA).

Young serving personnel and veterans who say they need help are not coming forward due to "stigma", according to one military charity. 

SSAFA says just under one in five (18%) young serving and ex-serving personnel are not seeking help, despite the vast majority admitting they need it.

New figures released by SSAFA show what they say is a "worrying trend".

For the first half of 2019, SSAFA's helpline, Forcesline, was contacted 14,916 times.

Only 8% of those calls were made by someone under the age of 30, despite 89% of under 30s admitting they needed help during or after their military career. 

Bill Grant, who manages Forcesline, told Forces News: "The problem is not so much other people's perceptions of, let's say mental health...it's actually the person themselves' belief that they are in someway stigmatised.

"In our research, we discovered that around 97% of young serving and ex-service personnel had the highest respect for those who come forward and talk about their problems.

"But where the problem seems to lie is within the person themselves...the person who is experiencing these difficulties actually making all that important step to contact someone such as Forcesline." 

Only 8% of the calls made to SSAFA's Forcesline were made by those under the age of 30 (Picture: PA).

The report released by SSAFA also shows that around 50% of those under the age of 30 did not seek help, even though they needed support during or after their time in the military. 

The charity is launching a pilot 'Web Chat' at the start of October, in the hope that it will attract younger people to discuss their problems.

Research from the charity shows 41% of 16-24-year-olds would prefer to use text or 'Web Chat'' to discuss their issues rather than a traditional phone call.