This paper explores how families are supported within the Armed Forces and how holidays may be of benefit as part of this support.
While the well-being of the family unit is increasingly acknowledged (eg, in academic research, policy debate and podcast media) as central to the fitness and resilience of the Armed Forces, initiatives to support family well-being have been slow to emerge. One proposed means of support is the provision of holidays (whether abroad or ‘staycations’) to families who may be struggling to cope with stressors related to military life. Building on evidence from leisure and tourism studies, holidays are understood as providing benefits to family well-being, including rest and recuperation, respite from the stressors of everyday life, and building resilience and social capital. With a view to developing policy and practice, we suggest that research could meaningfully examine the use of holidays as a means of supporting military families. This article aims to stimulate debate regarding how families are supported within the UK Armed Forces.
Caddick N, Fossey M. Should we give military families a break? A call for research on military family holidays. BMJ Mil Health. 2021 Jul 12:bmjmilitary-2021-001844. doi: 10.1136/bmjmilitary-2021-001844. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34253644.