The Mental Health of the UK Armed Forces in the 21st Century: Resilience in the Face of Adversity

June, 2014

This article examines the mental health and resilience of the UK armed forces.


The recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have attracted considerable political and media interest in the mental health of UK military personnel. As a result of the close operational collaboration between US and UK forces, there have inevitably been many comparisons drawn between the mental health status of the two forces. Considerable research activity suggests that the mental health of UK forces appear to have remained relatively resilient in spite of their considerable exposure to traumatic events; one stark exception to this is the high rates of alcohol misuse which seem to be related to deployment. This paper explores the recently published literature relating to UK military forces and attempts to draw conclusions about the reasons for the apparent resilience shown by the majority of the regular forces.

Full Reference

MacManus D, Jones N, Wessely S, Fear N.T, Jones E, Greenberg N. The mental health of the UK Armed Forces in the 21st century: resilience in the face of adversity (2014). J R Army Med Corps; doi: 10.1136jramc-2013-000213

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