“It can strike anybody. It has no respect to rank, it has no respect to appointment.” John Stokoe, Retired Major General

One in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our life, but there are members of our community who face unique risks and challenges to their mental health.

Long periods of time away from family during service, exposure to high stress situations and trauma, and the difficulty of adjusting between military and civilian life – all can impact on the mental health of serving and ex-serving personnel and their families.

The most common ways these stressors impact on members of the armed forces are depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and alcohol misuse.

In 2015/16, 3.2% of UK armed forces personnel were assessed with a mental health disorder – over 6,000 people. Many more go undiagnosed and untreated.

Just like the rest of the population, stigma and lack of awareness around our mental health compared to our physical health is often a barrier to armed forces personnel getting the treatment they need to recover. 

We want to empower everyone in the military community to meet these challenges head on by equipping them with practical Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) skills.

Armed Forces Mental Health First Aid training

MHFA training courses teach people to spot the symptoms of mental health issues, offer initial help and guide a person towards support.

We don’t teach people to be therapists, but we do teach people to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis - and even potentially stop a crisis from happening.

Developed in collaboration with the UK’s leading military support charities, Armed Forces MHFA is tailored to the unique culture and mental health needs of the military community.

For everyone in the armed forces community – serving and ex-serving personnel, their families and support organisations – our training gives people the skills to:

  • Stop a preventable health issue from escalating by spotting and addressing it early

  • Know how and where to access treatment if it’s needed, for a faster recovery

  • Help keep themselves, the people they support, their colleagues and their families healthy

  • Minimise the impact of mental ill health on work and life

*Please note that the MHFA Champions and Mental Health Aware courses are not tailored to an armed forces environment. They have been designed to work across sectors.​


We strive to create courses and resources that everyone can access. When you book training through MHFA England, please specify if you will need course materials in accessible formats.

Visit our accessibility page for more information.