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Royals give biggest grant ever to digital mental health scheme
10 October 2017, 03:49 | Myron Mathis
GETTY The family are expected to live in Kensington Palace when the new baby arrives
'This is what the partnership ... is all about - placing mental fitness and mental health at the heart of the training and support provided to the entire defence community'.
In spite of the strains placed on military personnel, research suggests rates of mental disorder are slightly lower in the Armed Forces at 3.2 per cent than in the general population, where it is 3.5 per cent.
Prince Harry teamed up with the United Kingdom military on Monday to urge armed forces members to consider that their mental health is as important as their combat skills.
The money has come from their charitable trust, the Royal Foundation, and will be used to set up a digital innovation unit to develop new tools and services that will help people have conversations about their mental health and access support.
The younger royals' charitable foundation will provide training materials created to improve the resilience and mental health of Armed Forces personnel so that they are better prepared for combat and other traumas in their lives.
The Foundation will now offer advice and resources to improve training, education and information sharing for the whole of the armed forces.
Staying mentally and emotionally sharp could help with "getting that extra 20% or possibly 30% more of performance that can make all the difference", he said.
"Today we are saying that taking mental health seriously is what professional and dedicated servicemen and women must do to be above the rest and leading from the front".
The new mental health training for personnel in all branches of the military and civilian MoD workers will start in mid-2018.
Harry pointed out that mental health is just as vital as physical health, especially for people with high-pressure jobs.
He continued: "The only thing, trying to extrapolate the data from this, is that these individuals who have spoken have probably got a reasonably good support network around them".
He said: "I was told 'Grab a man suit, suck it up!' These were the phrases I was shouted at by a colour sergeant".
"Crucially, fighting fitness is not just about physical fitness".
John White, a former Royal Marines officer who lost both legs and his right arm in an explosion in Afghanistan and is project managing the new initiative, said the idea was to catch a problem before it became "a full blown mental illness".
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