A Review of United Kingdom Armed Forces’ Approaches to Prevent Post-deployment Mental Health Problems


This paper examines post-deployment mental health by relating this to three levels of mental illness health prevention. The primary preventative strategies reviewed are decompression and psycho-education. The secondary prevention strategy reviewed is post-deployment mental health screening.


There is now an abundance of research which has demonstrated that military personnel who deploy on operations are at increased risk of suffering a variety of mental health difficulties in the immediate and long-term post-deployment period. One consequence of these research findings has been the development of a variety of programmes that attempt to mitigate the increased psychological risk and to assist personnel who are returning from a deployment to make a smooth transition home. Using a three-tiered prevention model, this article reviews some of the key post-deployment issues facing the UK Armed Forces and highlights the recent interventions which have been put in place to promote successful adjustment in the early post-deployment period. The paper is based upon research identified through a thorough literature search for studies which focused on this area and included a recognized measure of mental health as an outcome. The paper focuses on three main areas; psychological decompression, psycho-education and screening. The current philosophical approaches to post-deployment mental health problems of some of the UK's coalition partners are also discussed.

Full Reference

Fertout, M., Jones, N., Greenberg, N., Mulligan, K., Knight, T., Wessely, S., 2011 [Online]. "A Review of United Kingdom Armed Forces' Approaches to Prevent Post-deployment Mental Health Problems", International Review of Psychiatry. Available at: DOI: 10.3109/09540261.2010.55777 [Accessed: 11.09.17].