Harry launches Royal Foundation partnership with MoD for mental health

Earlier today, Prince Harry helped the Ministry of Defence launch a new mental health focus within the Armed Forces for its servicemen and women, and veterans, in partnership with the Royal Foundation.

The Royal Foundation, a charity run by Prince Harry and The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will work with the MoD to offer targeted training, support and advice on the topic of mental health to help prevent future problems, and treat those who are suffering. It is hoped that such information can then be shared across all of the forces.

Defence Personnel will be encouraged to use psychology and well-being in the same way as athletes do to maximise performance, emphasising the idea that mental fitness is as important as physical fitness when working as part of the Armed Forces.

Prince Harry launched a partnership between the Royal Foundation and Ministry of Defence earlier today, to ensure mental health was a priority in the forces (MoD)


Last year, the military mental health charity, Combat Stress – affiliated with the Invictus Games – reported a surge in referrals of veterans to their services, to be treated with problems such as depression and post traumatic stress disorder. However, rates of mental disorder are statistically slightly lower in the Armed Forces (3.2%), than in the general population, at 3.5%.

It is thought this is the first time that the Royal Foundation has worked with a government department.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “By looking after our mental health we are building a more effective Armed Forces that helps keep this country safe.

“Our soldiers, sailors and airmen are the best in the world but we will only maintain that if we are as serious about improving mental health as we are our combat skills and cutting-edge technology.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaking at the launch of a new partnership to improve the mental health of current and former Armed Forces personnel with Prince Harry (MoD)

“So partnering with key groups like the Royal Foundation is an important part of our strategy to improve the well-being of our serving Armed Forces and veterans.”

In Prince Harry’s address, he suggested that, just as for physical exertion – be it exercises or in the field – the mind should also be prepared for its activities: “Quite simply, these men and women are prized assets which need to be continually invested in. We surely have to think of them as high-performance athletes, carrying all their kit, equipment and a rifle.

“Crucially, fighting fitness is not just about physical fitness. It is just as much about mental fitness too.


“But, like many of you in this room, I have come to realise that we can all do more to promote the positive management of our mental health and, in doing so, help prevent some of these issues before they develop,” the Prince said, speaking in front of a portrait of The Queen.

Embed from Getty Images

“This is what the partnership between the MoD and the Royal Foundation is all about – placing mental fitness and mental health at the heart of the training and support provided to the entire defence community.”

“The military has faced the challenge of dealing with things like post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression,” Prince Harry said. Such services as those the MoD now wants to offer will ‘help prevent some of these issues before they develop’.

The chairman of the Royal Foundation and Mr Fallon signed a memorandum to officially mark to launch.

On Sunday, it was revealed that the Royal Foundation is committing £2 million to fund a new ‘digital innovation unit’, which will develop tools and services for people to access mental health assistance.

The Royal and Defence Secretary later met up again, as they visited the Imperial War Museum, to present the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards to organisations which have supported members of the Armed Forces and their families.

The award is the Ministry of Defence’s ‘prestigious badge of honour for organisations who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community’.

Recipients included Airbus, Shropshire Council, Met Police, West Midlands Fire Service, DHL and Wolferstans Solicitors, while numerous others received lower silver and bronze awards.

Prince Harry was there to hand out the award, and posed for photos with the winners.

Michael Fallon said: “You’re leading by example, showing that employing reserves and Veterans makes business sense. With your golden example inspiring businesses to follow, our nation won’t simply survive, we’ll thrive.”

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1 comment

J.McCree Tue 10 October, 2017 - 4:57 am

Prince Harry…

…is all class. I have been following him for years, along with many Americans. His service to his nation is beyond reproach. His dedication to the United Kingdom is steadfast and unshakable. As a U.S. military veteran of 21 years, it makes me proud to see a fellow veteran and soldier lead such a great nation in solving such complex and difficult issues as mental health.
Please donate what you can to this cause. It is honorable, necessary and founded in common sense and common decency. I certainly will.
Now…don’t be outdone by an American.


Always Brothers, Forever Allies

SFC J. McCree

U.S. Army (retired)

Fort Hood, Texas


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