This week’s defence related news includes coverage of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s visit to Afghanistan and a new suicide prevention booklet.
Defence Secretary visit to Afghanistan
This was also accompanied by discussions on twitter between UK defence correspondents concerning Afghanistan policy and the Defence Secretary's engagement with the British troops based there as part of the NATO train, advise and assist mission.
During his visit the Defence Secretary warned of the threat that Islamic State posed in Afghanistan and that they had established ‘direct links’ with British terror groups, provoking fears about new ‘Manchester-style attacks.’
The Telegraph reports on the new suicide prevention booklet jointly produced by the MOD and Samaritans. The paper featured a positive write up of the initiative and reports on the advice outlined in the booklet. For example, advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties and is considering suicide.
The coverage states that all personnel and reserves will have access to either a hard copy or a digital version of the booklet and it is aimed at promoting peer support among those serving, regardless of rank.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Mental health issues can affect anyone and I want to ensure no one in our military suffers in silence. It is vital that service personnel know where to turn to in times of crisis, and this guide will raise awareness of the support available.
By helping our people to spot the early signs that someone may be struggling, we give them the best chance of a full recovery.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:
While military mental health continues to be slightly better than the general population, we’re committed to ensuring that those who need help are able to get the support they need.
This guide, alongside our extra investment in mental health care and the 24-hour Mental Health Helpline, will be invaluable in helping our people to help each other.
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