Launch of mandatory annual mental health training in the armed forces

Designed to cover the most important aspects of developing and maintaining good mental health, the AMFB is accessible to all service personnel.

Honoring the commitment made by all department heads on World Mental Health Day 2020, the program will require all armed forces personnel to receive a mandatory mental health briefing available from October 11, 2021. .

The Department of Defense recognizes the unique demands of military life and how people are the military’s best asset. This new initiative builds on these themes outlined in the Defense Command document released earlier this year.

Defense, People and Veterans Minister Leo Docherty said:

I am proud that we have taken another step to improve our social protection for staff. The Annual Mental Health Report is the latest example of Defense’s commitment to ensuring our people are at their peak, both mentally and physically.

Not only is it essential that our staff understand what help is available to them, it is also essential that our arrangements are regularly updated with the latest advances in mental health research and science. The new program will take place annually, ensuring our military personnel are equipped to support their mental health both on and off operations.

Staff already benefit from first-rate mental support, including a range of dedicated and comprehensive medical services. However, the AFMB goes even further, recognizing how the unique pressures of lifespan can cause stress and directly educating staff on how to deal with them.

Available on the Defense internal learning platform, the mandatory annual briefing demonstrates Defense commitment to the mental health and well-being of the Armed Forces.

The program is comprised of modules that deliver cutting-edge learning outlining the latest strategies in mental health and wellness, stress management, and transformative techniques to transform stress into mental resilience. It also includes steps staff can take to access advanced support services.

As a mandatory program, units will be responsible for ensuring that their staff conduct the briefing annually. The requirement aligns with other annual military assessments, such as navigation law and operational law, making it an essential part of the personnel development experience.

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Richard V. Johnson

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