Help-seeking and receipt of treatment among UK service personnel

The British Journal of Psychiatry : the Journal of Mental Science
Amy C IversenNicola T Fear


For armed forces personnel, data on help-seeking behaviour and receipt of treatment for mental disorders are important for both research and policy. To examine mental healthcare service use and receipt of treatment in a sample of the UK military. Participants were drawn from an existing UK military health cohort. The sample was stratified by reserve status and by participation in the main war-fighting period of the Iraq War. Participants completed a telephone-based structured diagnostic interview comprising the Patient Health Questionnaire and Primary Care Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Screen (PC-PTSD), and a series of questions about service utilisation and treatment receipt. Only 23% of those with common mental disorders and still serving in the military were receiving any form of medical professional help. Non-medical sources of help such as chaplains were more widely used. Among regular personnel in receipt of professional help, most were seen in primary care (79%) and the most common treatment was medication or counselling/psychotherapy. Few regular personnel were receiving cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). These findings are comparable with those reported for the general population. In the UK armed forces, the majorit...Continue Reading


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